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RE-1 School Board: Resignations accepted with regret, Gardner drops charter proposal

by Kathy Doolittle
WALSENBURG — An evening meal was shared at the John Mall High School cafeteria that included the current school board members and some of the John Mall High School staff. The regularly scheduled board meeting convened shortly afterwards.
Retirement letters were read and accepted with heavy hearts. Those leaving are Gardner teacher Elizabeth Schneider, John Mall art teacher Linn Baker, and Gardner special ed teacher Linda Jardine.
A business teacher for JMHS was interviewed last week and accepted a verbal offer but withdrew to return to family in Hawaii. Someone stated that he must have gotten cold feet! Additional applications will be examined.
On a brighter note, Ruth Strong was given a nod of approval from the board to commence volunteer work for the district, contingent on background check.
Myra Trujillo, Gardner School Foundation President, addressed the board. She read a letter that will be mailed to the community shortly. It basically stated that after extensive research the Gardner school staff and charter committee has realized that it would harm the district to close Gardner School, so closure is no longer being considered as an option. Gardner school could become a magnet school in the future, and this is a direction the school district may want to consider.
Peakview reported that Mr. Barber’s Finance class took first place in the state out of 63 teams competing. The school recieved $150 and the students received cash awards. Congratulations to Tlollie Ordaz, Terrel Valdez and Heidi Spone. Courtney Bradsby took third place overall. See related story on page 1.
In other news, the principals reported on upcoming events. “Voices of the Past” interviews, being held in Gardner, has been postponed until a later date and the Gardner school carnival is in the works. Also, a well attended voluntary math vertical alignment in-service, facilitated by Edison Learning was held for our area teachers on January 13. Teresa England, a member of the TDIP leadership team reported on the enthusiastic and very motivated educators.
The second reading of bus policy was discussed, but the board elected to table the subject for the time being.
A discussion led by board president Jaye Sudar on the Huerfano School District Re-1 Strategic Plan, 2008-2013, stressed how the community can get involved with the school district to improve the plan. Please call the district 738-1520 to learn more and have your name added to thelist.
The Safety/Security Committee members gave an update on the reevaluation of the school district emergency preparedness and what that entails. The Huerfano RE 1 School district has formed a committee of board members, law enforcement, technical services personnel and Huerfano County officials to review the district’s various plans including emergency preparedness, security at the schools, updating school policies, crisis response plans, bullying and other measures that affect the safety of their student and faculty population.
This committee has been looking into various options including evacuation procedures in the event of an emergency, security systems including interior and exterior cameras and sensors and the current reviewing the emergency plans that involve the district campus and the facilities in Gardner.
The district hopes to streamline the process of notifying the appropriate authorities, parents and officials should an emergency occur.
There will be more information in the future and the district will accept the public’s input in this matter. Call the district office if you have any concerns.
The meeting finished up with the discussion of the school policy for public use of the district’s school buildings. It was a general consensus that it would be a win-win situation. The public could rent school properties for use. An example was given. Apparently, the sheriff’s department is interested in possibly renting the Washington School auditorium when it come to the future interviewing of prospective jurors for the Dougherty trial.
The final revised budget 2012 was reviewed and accepted. An overnight trip for the JMHS wrestling team was approved.