By Jaye Sudar
WALSENBURG- “We have a lot of work to do, obviously” stated Superintendent Doyle at the meeting on Tuesday night. This was in reference to the ACT scores which are 15.5 this year, three points lower than last year. The state average is 20. This sentiment was echoed throughout the meeting. It is hoped that the district′s new policy on homework and emphasis on bell to bell teaching will improve test scores. The board encourages parents to contact the district for more information about the homework policy.
There are vacancies on the school board in Districts B and G that need to be filled by letters of application. All others have candidates running for election. Letters of application need to be in by September 21.
The sports complex is in need of various donations of goods and labor to get it up and running. The new scoreboard should be in place by Tuesday of next week. San Isabel helped move the announcing booth, while the city dug trenches so that wire could be laid. The multi-purpose building was delayed due to the wrong trusses being delivered the first time. The sewer should be in place this week. The field still needs either guard rails or a berm to keep the public off the field. Field grooming will be done this week. The students are getting used to the new field, but find it hot during the afternoon.
A variety of grants have been applied for and the district is waiting to hear how they will be awarded. El Pomar, USDA, and GOCO are but a few totaling over $400,000 in possible awards. Grants received will be used for the sports complex and other projects in the district.
The Gardner School kitchen is finished and awaits a letter of occupancy. An needed update will be done next week for the fire alarm system. At that point, the kitchen will be fully operational.
Enrollment is down 50 students at this point Doyle reported. They had predicted that drop in enrollment and hope that late registrations will bring up the numbers. The present count is 596 students. This count may change if Peakview decides to run a full day kindergarten. Preschool and kindergarten students are counted differently than first through 12th graders.
The Day Care Center lease of the old administration build on 7th street is up for discussion. The Day Care Center is trying to decide whether to buy the present building, Tioga or another building. The board said that they would work with the Day Care Center on whatever decision they make. The Tioga building was mentioned as a good alternative to the present building due to size and proximity to the new Spanish Peaks Library.
Revitalizing the Booster Club was discussed due to an issue of Duckwalls selling Panther merchandise without an agreement with the school district. Duckwalls has pulled the merchandise for the moment until an agreement can be reached.