9:00 AM - 11:00 AM
1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
7:30 AM - 3:00 PM
The Board of Education will have a work session on Wednesday, May 29 at 6:30 p.m. in the board room at the Education Services Center (Administration Building). AGENDA available.
The Board of Education held their regular May BOE meeting on Thursday, May 9 at 6:30 p.m. in the board room at the Education Services Center (Administration Building). REVISED AGENDA available. REVISED PACKET available.
As always, director contact information is available from BOE page.
The District 49 Board of Education directors want to hear from their community. Ahead of each meeting's action items, up to 10 members of the public are afforded a three-minute opportunity to address the directors about issues of concern or praise. When appropriate, they'll respond following each presentation. In the interest of productivity for the proceedings, no charges or complaints against individuals are allowed. Defamatory or abusive remarks, including profanity, are not tolerated. The open forum is always considered an important part of each board meeting.
This summer, District 49's transportation team will take Joshua's artwork to the Colorado State School Bus Championship Road-e-o, a competition that identifies the state's best in school bus safety. Transportation professionals are evaluated in several areas, like special needs, student management and emergency evacuations. During the event, Joshua's poster will be submitted for the Colorado State Pupil Transportation Association's safety poster contest.
“I am honored and eager to get to work for everyone who depends on Falcon School District 49,” said Hilts about the board’s decision. “The future of public education demands the kind of courage and innovation displayed in District 49. I look forward to joining the team and building on a promising foundation.”
The board commended Hilts for his experience with innovative education and vision for 21st century learning.
In his current position as director of academic services at The Classical Academy, Hilts coordinates efforts of school and instructional leaders. He is a founding director of the award-winning College Pathways blended school. He has also held leadership roles as a high school principal and director of instructional technology.
As District 49’s CEO, Hilts will oversee all educational strategies and functions for the district. He replaces acting CEO Don Begier, and joins the chief business officer and chief operations officer to round out the district’s leadership team.
The district will now begin the process of developing a contract with Hilts, including start date, salary and other contractual matters. Directors will approve a final contract before Hilts officially accepts the position.
The board held an executive session prior to the regular meeting to discuss the CEO finalists, Hits and Mary Vedra. Hilts said he will work closely with Begier, and his current colleagues at TCA to ensure a smooth transition of leadership.
Board directors approved changes to the boundaries for Springs Ranch Elementary School and Remington Elementary School. The adjustments will increase operational efficiency at both schools, allowing Remington to enroll students up to its optimal capacity, and alleviating crowding at Springs Ranch.
The boundary between the two schools will now follow the natural boundary of North Carefree Circle, so students will not have to cross that major road to attend their neighborhood school. Families currently enrolled in either school will have the opportunity to choose whether to opt into the new boundary, which takes effect for the 2013-2014 school year.
Directors approved funding of a vocational program partnership with Pikes Peak Community College. The program provides District 49 high school students the opportunity to pursue career pathway education outside the traditional classroom environment.
The board established guidelines for how many students may participate, as the district funds their concurrent enrollment at the college. The directors also approved funding of a vocational program in cosmetology, providing similar guidelines for students enrolled at the International Salon and Spa Academy.
The board directors approved the Colorado Digital BOCES constitution and bylaws, moving forward with the formation of the program to provide a collaborative support network for online and blended learning. Colorado Digital BOCES is the first entity of its kind in the state, giving educators greater access to best practices and trainings for those educational models.
Jack Bay, chief operations officer, presented a proposed realignment of the facilities, operations and maintenance departments. Bay recommended implementing a structure for operational staff, so they are positioned as a unified team with the priority of developing a plan for cost-savings on the operational side of the district. The board approved the plan, which also establishes lines of reporting, accountability and leadership for the operational departments.
Directors approved a resolution to establish passing periods as educational time, an item annually addressed by the board. Directors approved revisions to board policies and regulations regarding relations with charter schools, staff absences and leave and staff ethics.
Directors approved revised meeting dates for the scheduled May work session, moving from May 22 to May 29, and June meeting, from June 13 to June 12. Also approved were food services for the Head Start program at Evans International and Falcon Elementary Schools for the upcoming school year.
The board received a legislative update from lobbyist Amy Attwood, addressing current and new school finance acts. Of 178 Colorado school districts, District 49 ranks 177 in the funding it receives from the state. Attwood has worked throughout the legislative session to ensure the district maintains a voice in the development of educational policy at the state level. She will continue building relationships with legislators, other school districts and educational stakeholders.
Board directors discussed restructuring of contracts for the district’s top administrators in order to establish a uniform contract for the chief and innovation leader positions. The board members expressed their desire to limit all contracts to one year.
Teacher Appreciation Week, May 6-10, is an opportunity to stop and thank a teacher. Sometimes, a simple thanks is all a teacher needs to feel valued.
"Not only are teachers some of the smartest, most compassionate people I know, but they do work that few of us could accomplish on our best days," wrote Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education, in an ED.gov blog post May 6.
"What our teachers really need—and deserve—is our ongoing commitment to work with them to transform America’s schools," he said. "They need us to acknowledge them as professionals who are doing our nation’s most important work."
The District 49 community may share success stories or words of appreciation on the district's Facebook page, or using the #District49 hashtag on Twitter. Around the country, people will celebrate teachers using the hashtag #thankateacher.
For inspiration, visit District 49's "In the Classroom" board on Pinterest.
For more information about the PTA Teacher Appreciation Week, visit PTA.org.
Beginning at 8:30 a.m., the students will hold a Relay Recess, an abbreviated version of the American Cancer Society’s national signature activity, Relay For Life. The Relay Recess program provides cancer prevention and education information, and also raises funds for the American Cancer Society’s mission, “to help create a world with more birthdays.”
“It’s a great opportunity for the students to make an impact in the community as well as become knowledgeable about cancer,” said Erin McGovern, Stetson Elementary School teacher and Relay Recess coordinator. "The students feel good about themselves knowing they are doing something to help others."
The Relay Recess event at the school will provide an opportunity for students, teachers and their families to celebrate and remember those loved ones touched by cancer. The program will last one hour.
For her excellence, the Odyssey Elementary School teacher was recognized as a top STEM teacher in Colorado.
Lamb will now be nominated by the section for the AIAA’s national education award.
“The awards committee and I think that Sandy Lamb is a teacher we would want to have for our children,” said Jim Rendleman, AIAA Rocky Mountain Section chair, during the awards presentation May 2. "She knows how to make STEM fun."
Matia was selected as a recipient of the Lemelson-MIT Program Excite Award and is now a finalist for a 2013-2014 InvenTeam grant.
The InvenTeam initiative, created by the Lemelson-MIT Program, offers an unparalleled opportunity for high school students to cultivate their creativity and experience invention. InvenTeams are comprised of students, teachers and mentors and can receive grants up to $10,000.
Matia’s high school InvenTeam is working to improve bio-sand technology to provide clean water production in third world countries, an initiative started by Bio AuSable, a 4-H InvenTeam located in Canada and New York. Bio AuSable will serve as official mentors for the InvenTeam at Sand Creek High School.
Bio-sand filters are made of layers of sand and gravel with different coarseness that allow water to pass through, while capturing parasites and bacteria in the process. Once water is passed through the filter, it is 98% clean.
The devices can be constructed with simple materials and tools. The operation of the system is designed to be easy and accessible, increasing the availability of clean drinking water for communities in third world countries.
The school submitted its application in April. “Our team of 25 are the most fantastic kids and the strongest class of juniors and seniors I have ever had in 13 years of teaching,” Matia said.
The school’s InvenTeam is partnering with local veterinarian clinics to test water and is looking to foster additional partnerships to incorporate scientific research. Students will work on prototyping and redesigning of the filter based on research and testing.
Kohlhouse was selected by the Colorado Department of Education as the state's 2012-2013 Online Teacher of The Year. With her leadership, Falcon Virtual Academy’s science program has shown tremendous growth and achievement. She builds curriculum to meet the needs of various learning styles, aligning coursework with Common Core standards.
"She's an amazing teacher who does amazing things with kids," said Dave Knoche, Falcon Virtual Academy principal. "And truly her gift is developing those relationships that are crucial for making kids successful."
Those are the words one student used to describe the learning experience at Patriot Learning Center, an alternative middle and high school in Falcon School District 49.
Students and parents interested in learning about the range of programs offered at Patriot Learning Center are invited to an open house event April 29 from 6-7 p.m. School staff members will share a presentation about educational opportunities with prospective students and families.
Through a variety of educational programming, Patriot Learning Center provides a learning environment for students who may not have thrived in a more traditional educational setting.
The school prepares students for emotional, social and academic success through community service, small class sizes and individualized educational opportunities.
School staff members use a relationship-based approach to ensure educational relevance and academic rigor.
Patriot Learning Center is located just south of the intersection at Woodmen Road and Highway 24 in Peyton at 11990 Swingline NE Road.
This is the school’s fifth year taking part in the project. Staff and students say they see it as a way to make a positive impact on the lives of the shelter’s residents, according to PLC staff Susie McPherson.
Donations can be delivered to the Patriot Learning Center at 11990 Swingline NE Road, or the district’s Educational Service Center at 10850 E. Woodmen Road.
The following items are requested: sunglasses, concealer and makeup, jewelry, perfume and any other items that help a woman feel special.
Personal hygiene items will not go in the baskets, but if donated will still be delivered to the shelter.
For additional information about this project, please contact Susie McPherson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Born in Iran, Bighash and her mother fled to France when she was eight due to religious differences. She remained separated from her father for nearly seven years. The family finally reunited last year when Bighash and her mother moved to the United States to join her father, who had moved to the country three years earlier.
As an International Baccalaureate student, Bighash has spent countless hours volunteering for local organizations, such as Hope Community Center, Salvation Army, Goodwill and UNICEF. She also helps her fellow students, tutoring in Spanish and French.
At 13 years old, Bighash received her pilot’s license in France and was the youngest female to pass the pilot’s exam.
Brett Derickson, IB Coordinator at Sand Creek High School provided a letter of recommendation for Bighash’s applications for the Young Global Scholars program.
“Maryam is one of the most compassionate, driven, internationally minded people I have ever met,” said Derickson. “Her experiences in Iran, France and the United States make her a unique young lady to determined to be a difference maker in the world. She will take action on important issues that impact global citizens.”
While in Iran and France, Bighash was an active student and was involved in many sports and extracurricular activities including the Iran’s national gymnastics team, taekwondo, cross country/track and field and French handball team. She is now the youngest on US Team Handball.
Besides sports, Bighash has a passion for politics and making a difference on a global scale. While in France, she spent time working in the parliament, where she learned about the French government and political parties.
Bighash speaks Farsi, Spanish, French and English, the latter she learned after moving to the United States in 2012.
Part of the application process included an essay in which Bighash talked about her experiences and plans for the future.
“Home is where my heart is, and my heart is in pursuing my dreams and obtaining as many experiences as I can for myself,” said Bighash, in her essay. “I will fight for justice and peace in the entire world. I will be of the nationality of humankind."
“I will be part of something bigger than one mere location. I will leave my footprint on this world! I have a dream to become a representative of peace for the 21st century.”
“I dream of a time when no child will be perplexed by questions like where they are from, for they will never be uprooted due to persecution or injustice.”
Bighash expressed thanks to all of the individuals who have supported her efforts at Sand Creek High School, and said that one day she wants to help bring freedom and peace to the Middle East.
Education, Travel and Culture
When one of the teenage girls from South Korea visited the Colorado State Capitol in Denver for the first time, she was in for a surprise. Ornate decorations, stained-glass windows and a golden dome were beyond the expectations of the foreign exchange student, who is spending a year as a student at District 49 high school.
"The building was so fancy, even the stairs and walls were fancy," she said after touring the capitol March 28 with other international students and their host families during a trip organized by the exchange organization Education, Travel and Culture. There are more than 20 exchange students from countries around the world currently attending high schools in the Colorado Springs area through the organization. Some of them stay for a full school year, others only for one semester. The international teens are here to learn about U.S. culture and lifestyle, and to serve as ambassadors for their own countries.
A German teenager also attended the outing in Denver. She was amazed to see the two chambers at the capitol, the senate and the house of representatives. Another aspect that caught her off guard was the sheer size of the structure. In her mind, she had imagined a setting similar to a "Rathaus," the seat of a city government in her home country - usually a demure, generic building of government offices.
Size is something that exchange students often notice very quickly when they come to the United States. "What I thought was a stereotype... actually, it's partly true: food portions are huge, the cars are big, roads are big, the sky is big, the houses are big," said another exchange student. However, she is quick to add: "People are not big - that's the cliché part about the United States."
The importance of religion, kindness toward strangers and the value of patriotism are some of the other cultural aspects about the United States that usually stand out to exchange students. The strong military presence in the Colorado Springs area doesn't go unnoticed. "Being in this city of military made me think about something I wasn't thinking about before," the teen said. "It opened my mind and my knowledge of what's going on in the rest of the world, why are they in war, and who are the people trying to stop it?"
This type of experience, and similar, enables the exchange student to grow, and often, opens the minds of their U.S. host families and friends to new perspectives. The cultural exchange happens both ways, which means there are only winners in programs such as this one sponsored by ETC.
After their time in the United States, the exchange student returns home with valuable and unique experiences that will last a lifetime, and the U.S. host family, extended family, and the entire community have gained an ‘international friend’ for life. The students already recognize the benefits of their time here.
"I think my behavior for myself and toward other people will change. I think I already changed a lot... I think I will treat foreigners very well, be nice to everyone, and respect others more."
If you are interested in our program or your family wishes to enrich their lives by hosting an exchange student for the upcoming 2013-2014 school year, please contact Dorit White at 719.930.4480 or by e-mail email@example.com, or online at www.edutrav.org.
A group of students known as the Round Table was selected to represent the entire student body. The group discussed important issues facing the community, and what areas of interest they would like to donate to as a student body.
The Round Table then spent an entire day interviewing various nonprofit organizations, representing a variety of issues in the Colorado Springs area to learn more about the programs and activities that may benefit from the school’s fundraiser.
The student body will vote later this month. The students can choose to donate all the money to one cause or divide the money for multiple organizations.
Some of the nonprofit organizations interviewed included the American Cancer Society, Human Society of the Pikes Peak Region and Susan G. Komen Foundation.
“The Imagine National Character Essay Contest, now in its seventh year, reflects our schools’ strong emphasis on positive character development,” said Dennis Bakke, Imagine Schools co-founder and CEO.
“I want to commend the outstanding student writers whose character essays received awards in this year’s contest. With their winning essays, students articulate both the importance of living their own lives in a virtuous manner and the difference good character can make in their school, family, and larger community.
Congratulations to fourth grader Jackson Greer, who earned an honorable mention for his essay titled “Hope;” sixth grader Faith Parker, who won first place for her essay titled “Keeping Peace;” and eighth grader Nathan Hutfilz for his first place essay titled “My Mother’s Opportunity.”
Character development is one of Imagine Schools’ six measures of excellence. The essay contest is one of the many ways that the 70 Imagine Schools campuses strive to promote positive character development in students.
Every Imagine School places a strong emphasis on character development and evaluates success and effectiveness in this area annually.
Middle school color guard programs are generally introduced at the high school that sixth, seventh and eighth grade students are expected to attend. Because Sand Creek High School offers the district’s only active winter color guard program, there was a unique opportunity to expand to other high schools.
Students selected four key topics: money management and personal finance; public speaking and improving self-confidence; starting or managing a business; career resources. They recruited professionals from the community to visit the class and speak on various topics.
“Our class discussed and agreed to focus on learning about money management first because it would help us in entering the real world,” said 11th grader Dontae Liddell. “We brainstormed businesses that would send their representatives to teach us money management skills. As a result, we invited a representative from Wells Fargo Bank.”
Wells Fargo Bank sent personal banker Sean McGinness, a 2006 Sand Creek High School graduate. McGinness covered topics of compound interest, credit scores, savings, budgeting and determining average income when working on commission. The most challenging part for students came when they were asked to develop a budget earning only $2,000 per month.
“This experience has helped us learn a lot,” said Liddell, “and we think that every student should have the opportunity to learn from community members like Mr. McGinness. This would help students gain knowledge they need for when they enter the real world.”
Blakeley recently auditioned at the Joffery Ballet School of Dance in New York City, competing against other dancers from around the world for a spot in the training program. Only 5 percent of those who audition are accepted into the Joffrey trainee program. Blakeley is one of the few.
For six weeks this summer, Blakeley will live in New York City, where she’ll experience urban life before making her final decision about accepting the school’s offer.
Blakeley also volunteers for numerous charities including Make A Wish Foundation, The American Heart Association, Starlight Children's Foundation and Freedom Service Dogs. She is a founder of the Brandon Blakeley Foundation’s Bubba Walk, a walk dedicated in memory of her younger brother who passed away from heart-related issues in 2009.
She was awarded the Kohl's Kids Cares scholarship for the Colorado Region for helping to raise more than $60,000 for local charities.
There are several phases for examining this relationship: student learning, making connections and taking action. Students will be learning in the classroom over the course of several months by performing critical thinking activities. These include plotting rates of hospitalization of asthma patients on a Colorado map, plotting the path of radioactive air particles released from the Chernobyl blast, and playing Smog City, an interactive educational game, to learn the effect of weather conditions, population and emissions on ozone.
Finally, students will put their knowledge into action at Skyview Middle School by testing the outdoor air quality during peak pickup times of cars in the parking lot. They will use Vernier LabQuest probes and complete monthly recordings to examine data. If significant difference is indicated between pickup and non pickup times, then this information will be disseminated to families via newsletter to encourage conversations for change, such as reduction in idling.
- Mark Estrada, 16 - Nursing Assisting
- Savannah Church,16 and Katie Kurtz, 17 - CPR/First Aid
- Mason Garrett, 18 and Matt Seymour, 18 - EMT
- Shane Borah,16; Emma Nowlin, 15; Breanna Schmitt,15; and Adrienne DeBauche, 16 - Health Education
- Adrienne DeBauche, 16 - Physical Therapy
- Amber Nelsen,17 and Melanie Finley, 16 - CPR/First Aid
- Tyler Rohr, 18 and Dan Snelling, 16 – EMT
- Kaila Estepp, 17 - Prepared Speaking
- Shane Falzon, 15 - Researched Persuasive Speaking
- Samantha Mangar, 17, Kayla Martinez, 17, Mackenzie Richardson, 15 and Whitney Stanton, 16 – Biomedical Debate
- Mark Estrada, 16 - Medical Terminology
- Kaila Estepp, 17 - Human Growth and Development
- Melanie Finley, 16 - Extemporaneous Writing
- Kayla Martinez, 17 - Nursing Assisting
- Zach Williams, 15 - Physical Therapy
- Trey Moore, 19 and Emily Campbell, 17- EMT
- Marissa Maikell, 15, Kayla Pilcher, 15, and Miranda Morales, 14 – Public Health
- Shane Borah, 16 - Extemporaneous Speaking
- Jordan Lankford, 17 - Medical Terminology
- Bryce Bagby, 16 – Physical Therapy
- Samantha Mangar, 17 and Alyssa Athey, 18 – CPR/First Aid
- Mark Estrada, 16 and Kristian Chapman, 17 – CPR/First Aid
- Kayla Pilcher, 15 - Extemporaneous Speaking
- Brooke Kelly, 15 - Medical Photography
- Mason Garrett, 18 – Researched Persuasive Speaking
- Whitney Stanton, 16 – Researched Persuasive Speaking
- Savannah Church, 16, Katie Kurtz, 17, and Kaila Estepp, 17 – Public Service Announcement
- Shane Falzon, 15 – Medical Terminology
- Kyra George, 17 – Medical Terminology
- Kayla Martinez , 17 – Medical Terminology
- Melanie Finley, 16 – Human Growth and Development
- Bailey Moody, 15 – Nutrition
- Whitney Stanton, 16 – Barbara James Service Award
- Emily Campbell, 17 – Healthcare Issues Exam/Top 10 Percent
- Mackenzie Richardson, 15 – Top Five Pin Designs
Board members approved modifications to contracting procedures with special services providers. The change aligns special service provider contracts with statute and will result in the special service provider contracts being reviewed and renewed annually.
Directors approved modifications to salary ranges for the district’s top leadership roles, including innovation leaders and CEO, and some administrative positions. The changes provide consistency and reflect the district’s organizational structure and philosophy regarding compensation.
Begier provided the board with an update on the district’s exploratory teams process. In November, Begier was directed to form four exploratory teams to determine what needs, if any, the district had in four specific areas: micro-innovation, teacher induction, professional development and meaningful evaluation. Begier explained how the teams prioritized needs and is now handing off that input to the board for next steps. Teacher induction and micro-innovation were the two primary areas of interest
The fire occurred Tuesday morning in the south wing at Evans Elementary School, located at 1675 Winnebago Road in Colorado Springs. School officials were alerted of smoke coming from a downstairs boys bathroom at roughly 10:25 a.m.
Students and faculty were immediately evacuated and accounted for. Area firefighters and other emergency crews quickly responded to the incident.
Due to smoke damage, the school is closed March 13-17 to allow for cleanup efforts, as well as air quality and other environmental inspections. Students won't be allowed into areas until health concerns are cleared.
"Crews are working around the clock to ensure the building is clean and ready for our students to return Monday," said Dustin Horras, Evans International Elementary School principal.
"Safety of students is our first and foremost concern and students have not and will not be exposed to dangerous conditions," said Horras.
The smoke damage primarily affected eight classrooms, the learning areas for 150-180 students in fifth, first and fourth grade, as well as Head Start students. The school educates roughly 750 students in pre-K through fifth grade.
Transitional Colorado Assessment Program testing was underway. There's one fifth grade science and two third grade math sessions remaining, as well as several makeup tests.
All students will be given an opportunity to complete the testing after the school reopens, said Horras. He doesn't expect an extension to the school year, since the school was well above the state's required instructional time.
After the fire Tuesday, Evans International Elementary School's students were taken to the gym at Sand Creek High School, located at 7005 North Carefree Circle in Colorado Springs.
The students were supervised, provided shelter, meals and movies. Soon after 4 p.m., all students were released to their parents and guardians. Staff members checked for state-issued identification. Students were not released without it.
Updates are posted at D49.org.
- Copy of proof of residency (current utility bill or lease/contract)
- Copy of child’s birth certificate
- Copy of proof of income
- Completed Lottery Registration Form
- Completed Health and Social Questionnaire
- Completed CPP Interview
Falcon School District 49 will host Stand Up. Speak Out, a concert to end bullying, Aug. 17 at Security Service Field. The event takes a proactive approach to prevent bullying and promote a positive, safe and compassionate culture for students and families in El Paso County.
“The ultimate goal of this event is to stop bullying before it starts,” said concert organizer Mindy Quinn, District 49 marketing and communications specialist. “Stand Up. Speak Out. is designed to bring children and families together from all areas of Colorado Springs to raise awareness, empower and educate the community.
“Our schools have individually and collaboratively brought in guest speakers to address bullying at the elementary, middle and high school levels,” Quinn said, “but it is time to organize a community-wide event, featuring public figures who can speak to students in a different way. We hope to approach this effort using the power of music.”
A diverse line up of six artists will perform during the event in support of the cause, joining with national anti-bullying and educational organizations. Vertical Horizon, an American alternative rock band, will headline the festivities.
The BottomLine, is an indie-country singing duo from Colorado Springs featuring Bree Bremser, a 12th-grader at Sand Creek High School, and Nathan Noblit.
Brian Jarvis, New England-based singer and songwriter; Taylor Watson, recording artist from Nashville; and Devyn Rush, American Idol contestant and national spokesperson for Hey UGLY, non-profit anti-bullying organization will perform.
Brendan James, singer and songwriter of “The New Plan,” a song recently released for the victims and families of the Newtown, Conn., shooting will be in the lineup. He will join speakers from Rachel’s Challenge, Hey UGLY and Safe2Tell, who will take the stage to educate students and families about resources available within in the community.
District students and staff will to take to the streets, volunteering their time to canvass the community with posters, concert information and invitations to school districts in El Paso County.
The event is funded through sponsors and partnerships with local and national businesses, along with ticket sales. Tickets will be available in April at the Security Service Field box office and online: $13 for youth 12 years and under and military, or $15 for adults.
Businesses or organizations interested in donating to help fund this event may contact the district communications team at 719-491-2902. For more information, visit the Stand Up. Speak Out. page.
To sign up for emails, text keyword District49 to 33233.
"It's their love of the game," said Chris Roberts, seventh grade girls basketball coach, who worked with the team through their sixth and seventh grade years. "They study the game, they go to the games, they watch, and they love each other. ... I think the passion for the game has really taken them this far."
"They've worked together for a long time," said Toni Murphy, eighth grade girls basketball coach. "I feel really confident in the girls, that they're just going to work really hard and come out with a victory."
The board tabled an item regarding a strategic plan for the district pending the selection of the new chief education officer.
Directors approved the appointment of members to the District Accountability Advisory Committee, which reviews school improvement plans, makes expenditure recommendations and review’s district reports on educational and safety performance.
During Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Day, 60 cadets and faculty members from the Air Force Academy’s STEM Club will teach and demonstrate applications of science, technology, engineering and math to students in kindergarten-fifth grade.
Preschool is offered in all nine of the district’s elementary schools. Curriculum is linked to the Colorado Academic Standards, and is research-based and individualized to student needs. A list of required registration documents is available from the D49.org Preschool Information page.
8:30 a.m.-3 p.m.
Springs Ranch Elementary School
"Our K-12 faculty and staff are implementing proven strategies that work," said Begier. "District 49's innovation initiative has given educators the autonomy and flexibility to create and identify programs and curriculum to directly meet students' needs. We know keeping students in school increases their earning potential, builds confidence and opens up exponentially more doors of opportunity than for students who drop out. It is our goal to empower every student to reach his or her greatest potential."
Twelfth grader Nikita Schubert, 18, won a $1,000 scholarship by writing a short story for "Don't Get Mad; Get Knowledge." Twelfth grader Desiree Burdick, 18, won a $500 education scholarship. Eleventh grader Nick Pasley, 17, won a laptop.
The Educating Children of Color Summit is a day-long program with speakers and breakout sessions. Students compete for scholarships by demonstrating their passion for equal opportunities in education. The summit awarded $10,000 in scholarship money and 18 laptops. All students under 21 were eligible for laptop drawings.
Schubert's story for the "Don't Get Mad; Get Knowledge" scholarship is posted at Sand Creek High School.
Community members and educators are invited to a Flipped open house on Wednesday, Feb. 6 at Vista Ridge High School. The high school will join classrooms in five countries, 15 states, and more than 30 cities and towns also participating in the event. Teachers in various grades and disciplines are opening their doors to allow other educators to see how Flipped Learning works.
For more information about this event, including a list of additional locations, visit https://sites.google.com/site/flippedlearningopenhouse/sites-available
Board directors approved the 2012-2013 fiscal year amended budget. Brett Ridgway, chief business officer, provided information about the amended budget and the expense and fund balance projections for the remainder of the fiscal year. The amended budget process assists in managing the remaining portion of the current school year’s funding and lays the groundwork for the subsequent fiscal year.
The board members also approved 2012-2013 amended budgets for three district charter schools.
Board members moved an action item regarding the district’s organizational chart to the agenda for the regular meeting in February, to encompass feedback from additional district staff. Also tabled until the next meeting was an item involving revisions to the board policy guiding the powers and duties of its officers. Proposed revisions would modify some of the board’s communication processes and agenda-setting duties.
Don Begier, acting chief education officer, provided an update on the exploratory teams initiative and laid out the next steps for the project. Begier was directed in November to form four exploratory teams to determine what needs, if any, the district had in the specific areas: micro-innovation, teacher induction, professional development and meaningful evaluation.
While Begier says there was an encouraging response from about 30 staff and community members, ideally, the district is hoping to include 60-80 individuals in this process. The teams’ first meeting assessed work and programs underway district-wide within each category. The next step will focus on identifying areas of need in those categories. The teams will meet again Feb. 6 to collaborate about information team members are gathering to identify relevant needs.
At the Feb. 14 meeting, Begier is scheduled to present a proposed strategic plan, which guide the exploratory teams initiative as part of the district’s broader vision. Begier says implementing the strategic plan will ensure the district’s action steps and initiatives, like the exploratory teams, are congruent with the district’s long-term goals and will assist in prioritizing needs and key strategies.
A discussion item regarding board training and expenditures was tabled to allow for all board members to participate in the dialogue. Board vice president Chris Wright was absent. Additionally, the board requested development of a procedure for expectations, including approval of training and appropriate expenditures, as an item at the February meeting.
Board members discussed board membership into state and regional organizations and the benefits of paying associated dues. Specifically, the board evaluated participation in the Colorado Association of School Boards and the value of that membership.
Directors discussed legal representation for the board, including limiting legal fees and identify appropriate legal matters to employ counsel. The board expressed the need to avoid involving legal counsel on items regarding the district’s strategic issues, now that a new organizational format and leadership team are in place. A proposal identifying various obligations of district-employed legal counsel will be presented at the February meeting.
The board will hold its regular February meeting Feb. 14 at 6:30 p.m.
The Falcon High School student council and boys basketball team will host the Harlem Wizards for a night of impressive tricks and friendly competition. The Wizards, an extension of the Harlem Globetrotters, will play against Falcon Nation, a team made up of staff and students from several District 49 schools.
Harlem Wizards vs. Falcon Nation
The school will host the Senegal African Dance and Drum Troupe during two assemblies. The group combines African drumming, dancing, acrobatics, stilt-walking and innovative choreography.
As the African dance and drum troupe performs songs, drumming, folktales and exhibits traditions native to Africa, students of Evans International Elementary School, an International Baccalaureate school, will experience a unique educational program.
The event is aimed at creating a better, more peaceful world through cultural understanding and respect.
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“Take a stand, fight together, we can make a difference in the lives of many,” says Ancell.
Relay Recess brings students, educators and community members together for a special assembly and kick-off to the schools’ field day events. Everyone has an opportunity to meet cancer survivors, participate in a mini relay event, and raise funds through coin wars and other school activities.
The board received an extensive update on the POWER Zone’s one-to-one iPad initiative from Mike Pickering, the zone’s curriculum, instruction, assessment and professional development administrator, along with educators from the zone.
“These devices open up avenues for collaboration and creativity,” Pickering says of the iPads. Educators have gathered student performance data since the launch of the pilot program in August.
The board is scheduled to vote on the 2012-13 amended budget at a special meeting on Jan. 23. The amended budget process assists in managing the remaining portion of the current school year’s funding and lays the groundwork for the subsequent fiscal year.
Paul Andersen, personnel director, presented a draft for the proposed chief education officer position. Board members engaged in extensive discussion to refine specifics regarding expectations, requirements and duties for the district’s educational leader. The discussion included defining the CEO’s responsibilities involving innovation, educational, strategic, people and community and business leadership components. The board amended the agenda to move the job description to an action item and approved the revised description. The modified CEO job description will be published after the completion of final legal review and will be posted for 30 days.
Board members removed a discussion item on the role and responsibilities of the innovation leader position from the agenda. The item will be revisited once a CEO candidate is selected.
Directors discussed the board policy guiding the powers and duties of its officers. Proposed revisions would modify some of the board’s communication processes and agenda-setting duties. The policy will be moved to an action item at the next meeting.
Board members postponed discussion on the relevance of an operational audit to provide the recently hired chief operations officer to develop an operational strategic plan and assess operational needs.
The board will change the work session scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 23, at 6:30 p.m. to a special meeting.
Falcon Elementary School will host a ribbon cutting ceremony Jan. 10 to unveil a rock-climbing wall to parents, students and district leaders. The school will hold a celebrationg for the gift from the Parent Teacher Association.
PTA members raised money through various fundraisers and contributed $2,500 toward the purchase. An additional $1,200 in funding was raised through the school’s Walk for Education program, spirit week events and the support of Culver’s Night at the local restaurant.
SCHS in Falcon School District 49 will host a ribbon cutting ceremony to unveil renovations to the gymnasium. The school will start off the second semester with a brand new gym floor and custom Sand Creek Scorpion logo at center court.
"This level of improvement and success would not be possible without the support of highly involved families who value and support the education of their children. We are extremely proud of our students, teachers, support staff, and families who continue to work to improve Banning Lewis Ranch Academy.”
Dear District 49 Community,
I have spent a great deal of time over the weekend, as many of you have, learning more details and having more discussion about the heartbreaking tragedy that occurred in Newtown, Conn., last Friday. I want to take this opportunity to share with you additional resources that may help in supporting you, your family and your student as we work together in our own school community to cope with this tragic event.
If your student has any reason to be concerned for his or her safety in one of our school facilities, advise him or her to contact a school administrator. If there is an immediate concern for safety, contact emergency responders by calling 911.
We take every rumor and claim seriously, and investigate every report we receive. You will be notified if there is ever a situation where the safety of students or staff is in question. A solid security program is enforced in every school and facility, and while we take this opportunity to reevaluate the systems in place, I ensure you that the well-being of our students is our most important priority.
According to the National Association of School Psychologists, parents should consider the following tips when talking to their children about traumatic events:
For more information about these tips, visit this webpage:
For additional information about talking to kids about the loss of life, follow these links:
I commit to being proactive in my communication with you. School safety is a community-wide issue and a responsibility we share with staff, students, parents and community members.
I look forward to working with you to protect the safe and caring learning environment we have put in place for our students.
Feel free to call or email Dave Watson, District 49 safety and emergency coordinator, with questions or concerns at firstname.lastname@example.org or 719-494-8916.
Chief Education Officer
On behalf of Falcon School District 49, I’d like to offer our deepest concern for the victims of the shooting this morning in Newtown, Conn., where a gunman killed 27 people, 20 of them young children, about 70 miles northeast of New York City.
While the shooting occurred at an elementary school 1,800 miles east of our district, we know its impact is felt here, too. Our community contains many residents who’ve moved from western Connecticut or nearby New York. Many of us have friends and family there today.
During a month of holiday celebrations, this morning’s news has carried a sudden sense of sadness across our nation. Few events are more heartbreaking than a school shooting. It’s natural for children and families to worry about the safety of their own schools. I assure you, student safety remains a top priority in District 49.
Our safety and emergency coordinator always maintains contact with principals, district security officers and local law enforcement agencies. After the shooting, our security officers increased their visibility in school hallways, and our school resource officers increased their patrols around facilities.
Even when there’s no imminent threat, we maintain locked perimeter doors. While most buildings use a buzz-in entry system, all visitors must check in at main offices. Faculty members are remaining vigilant and observant of their school’s property.
I encourage you to talk honestly with your kids about school violence. Make school safety a frequent family discussion topic. Keep the dialogue going, rather than limited to times of crisis. Tell your kids about the safety procedures in place at their school, and why visitors must sign in or certain doors must remain locked.
The troubling news of a school shooting presents an important opportunity to talk and listen to your children, according to trauma and recovery psychologists. They advise parents to reassure children that many people are working to keep them safe, including their parents, teachers and local police.
For more information about talking to your children in the aftermath of a school shooting, visit the American Psychological Association website’s help center: http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/aftermath.aspx.
District 49 will support community initiatives meant to provide assistance to the victims of today’s awful event. We’ll keep you informed of any coordinated opportunities to actively participate.
Acting Chief Education Officer