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Troubled Seniors get to walk- conditionally

by Jaye Sudar

WALSENBURG- The RE-1 school board met in special session this week to decide on the consequences for the senior class students involved in misconduct on the Senior Seminar trip.  Maria de la Cruz and the entire senior class worked to hammer out eight specific items that were presented to the board.  At this meeting, no parents came to hear the decision of the board.  One student attended.

    Maria de le Cruz presented the plan to the board for discussion.  After lengthy discussion, it was agreed that this incident was a learning experience for all involved.  The vote was 3 against and 4 for the measure.  The measure passed with minor changes in wording.

    Some of he points the seniors came up with were, each student involved must pay $100 into the school’s PRIDE account, to go towards drug education, take a drug and alcohol education class, serve 24 hours community service, and publish a formal apology.

    The one student arrested that night is looking at more than $1200 in fines as well as other punishments.  Maria stated that she would be the one coordinating with the students to make sure the contracts were completed in time for graduation.

    It was mentioned near the end of the meeting that some parents who might have attended were at the hospital with the four seniors who had been involved in a roll over accident earlier that day.

    Peakview had its share of notoriety when four students were handed over to the police for drug possession.  Further trouble for John Mall high school and Peakview occurred Tuesday when a bomb scare was called in. (see related article on page 7)

    One activity that was canceled Tuesday because of the bomb scare was the Colorado Department of Education  meeting with the district.  Director Jerant stated that RE-1 was one step from the bottom when it comes to evaluations.  If the district hits bottom, the state may come in and take over the district.  In the meantime, the district must take radical steps to change.  After they assess the district, the board could still vote to have the state come in and take over. She predicted more progress on this later in the year.

    Shanoa Trajillo was recognized as the Student of the Month from Gardner School and Linn Baker was recognized as Teacher of the Month from John Mall. Baker invited the board to the last K-12 Art Show on Thursday night, starting at 5 pm.  Jeanne Wilkins and Jolene Basterrechea had their resignations accepted with regret.  In a difficult decision, the board decided not to rescind the retirement letters tendered last month by Liz Schneider and Linda Jardine.  Both teachers will be allowed the 110 days of employment after retirement.

    Three overnight trips were approved, with the caveat that any misbehavior by students would result in police and parents being called. The bus route to Gardner was approved and a new bus was approved for purchase while older buses were approved for disposal.

    In other business, the board approved the HEA agreement, three policy changes, reading volunteers for Peakview, additions to the substitute custodian list, rental of the house owned by the district, and a resolution to accept grant money from CDE.  The board also decided not to go for an override election at this time.  Last, the board went into executive session to consider the expulsion of a student who brought a fake weapon to school and threatened a fellow student.

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