MEEKER | In response to a leadership challenge from Barone Middle School principal Jim Hanks, seventh grader Ainsley Selle and eighth grader Nora Gianinetti are seeking to create a Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) club to meet during the Wednesday lunch hour in the BMS commons area. Lunch will be provided.
Ms. Selle presented the club’s proposal to the board of education at the March 25 meeting. The club’s philosophy is to “create a club that allows kids to get introduced to or become deeper with the Christian faith,” and will include devotionals and short videos as well as small group conversations. The club will be supervised by seventh grade science teacher Georgann Amack with assistance from high school FCA supervisor Michelle Selle. Participation is optional.
District policy requires the board be informed whenever a new club is started, even if there are no budgetary implications. Doctor Bob Dorsett inquired as to whether the student leaders and adult sponsors of the group were familiar with the handbook and the rule that adult sponsors must be non-participatory and was assured they had done their reserach.
After student celebrations, the board heard committee reports. Board member Tom Allen reported the Meeker Education Foundation has secured the services of Paul Vinzant for a rock donor wall they plan to erect near the high school track. The Foundation has also set the date of their annual golf tournament fundraiser for June 9; more details will be announced in the coming weeks.
The District will also apply for a Fairfield grant again this year. They’re hoping for $55,000 for some “bigger ticket items” including Chromebook updates, curriculum materials and assistance with rental costs for the current ag program space, according to Superintendent Chris Selle.
Principal Kathy Collins informed board members that Meeker Elementary School had received a $5,000 ECHO Grant—which stands for Early Childhood Health Outdoors—to design and build an outdoor classroom area for preschool students and certify and train teachers in proper use of the space. This will bump up the rating of the building.
Construction on the south side of Meeker High School officially began last week during spring break. MHS Principal Amy Chinn told the board, “it’s a mess—flashlights, no heat, no electricity, no plumbing. But things are happening.” Parking lot closures are now in place to accomodate construction. The district has ordered temporary speed bumps and has two staff directing traffic during school drop off and pick-up. “It is congested and we need to be mindful of what’s going on but it went relatively smoothly,” Selle stated.
During the superintendent report, Superintendent Selle stated attendance was down due to a “potpourri of illnesses” prior to spring break and clarified a few minor things on the financial report. He also provided updates on finance legislation to watch. Currently the state’s Joint Budget Committee’s proposal includes an increase for student population and growth (approx. $298,000 increase for Meeker), a negative factor buy down of $77 million, full day kindergarten funding (approx. $175,000 increase for Meeker), but no extra funding allocated for Colorado’s rural schools (approx. $256,000 decrease for Meeker). Selle will present budget estimates for the next year at the April work session, after the Joint Budget Committee completes some revision. The board expressed support for the funding of full day kindergarten. “The research on early childhood education is clear. Investments there are much more effective than trying to remediate later,” Selle said.
After updates, the board approved the hiring of Amanda Evans, who will fill one of three open positions at Meeker Elementary School, updates to align the district’s policies on reporting requirements and medical marijuana with current legislation, and the final 2019-2020 and preliminary 2020-2021 calendar. The 2019-2020 calendar features a start date of Aug. 19 in order to ensure the full number of attendance days so the year can end by memorial day. It also features a Sunday afternoon graduation opposed to the usual Saturday morning ceremony. This change will accommodate CHSAA’s decision to hold the state track meet on Memorial day weekend in 2020.
The board also approved a DOLA grant application for just over $800,000 for the auditorium remodel. ERBM’s board recently approved $200,000 to partially cover the match funding required for the grant. Construction estimates for the auditorium are around $1.6 million.
The board of education will meet again for a work session April 8 at 7 p.m. and will discuss proposed budgets, construction updates and the possible addition of a high school golf program.
By Caitlin Walker | firstname.lastname@example.org