Meeker School District ranked ninth in state

Considers dissolving building accountability committees

MEEKER | In a joint meeting with the state-required District Accountability Committee (DAC) Oct. 18, the Meeker Board of Education heard the DAC recommendation that the building accountability committees (BACs) for each school be dissolved. In so doing, the board should have the DAC absorb the remaining duties. Each of these committees are advisory in nature to the board and district. Superintendent Chris Selle stated that school districts of Meeker’s size were not required to have BACs. Furthermore, Selle reported that it has been very difficult to get parents and community representatives to serve on these committees. Barone Middle School principal Jim Hanks weighed in that he thought the consolidation was a good idea as, in his experience, many of the same people—administrators, teachers, parents and community business people— overlapped in their participation on these committees, so the scene was often the same folks telling themselves what they had previously done together in one of the other committees. Selle said he would ask the DAC to put their recommendation in writing along with an outline of how the structure and function would operate for board consideration at the regular meeting Nov. 15. The DAC further recommended they be charged with tasks to include but not be limited to: reviewing and monitoring the district’s strategic vision and to surveying previous graduating classes regarding their preparedness for continuing education and life. For student celebrations, sixth grade teacher Teresa Anderson brought a small contingent of participants from an all-sixth grade, four-day annual outdoor education experience at the Snow Mountain YMCA Camp near Tabernash back in September. Both Anderson and Hanks explained to the board how important this event is for interaction and understanding between the kids and personal bonding as they entered their middle school years. They were very pleased to get 100 percent participation. This is the fifth year BMS has been able to make this sixth grade trip. The students attending the meeting—Grace Roberts, Mackenzie Keetch, Autumn Hobbs and Eddie Drussell—described their various activities at the camp. It was explained that the students learn not only about others and how they should be treated, but also about themselves and how they could accomplish feats they may not have thought they could. The group thanked donors, namely WREA, Highland Cemetery, Freeman Fairfield Trust, United Way and XTO, without whom this experience would not be possible. The board also celebrated the announcement from Superintendent Selle that not only did the district receive “Accreditation with Distinction,” in the upper 12 percent of Colorado districts from the Colorado Department of Education, but that the district was actually ranked ninth in the state (out of some 170) based on various performance standards and testing of the accreditation process. Personnel hires approved by the board included: Zachary Kehrig and Abby Powell, student custodial substitutes; Caleb Newkirk, food service worker; Antina DiBenedetto, volunteer cheer coach; Tom Knowles (seventh grade), Holly Knowles (volunteer), Samantha Wilson (eighth Grade), BMS girls’ basketball coaches; Samantha Wilson, also BMS boys’ basketball third assistant coach; Erin Webster (assistant), Hallie Blunt (volunteer), Lori Chintala (volunteer), high school girls’ basketball coaches; Matt Dupire (assistant), Brock Campbell (C-team), Colton Brown (volunteer), high school boys’ basketball coaches; Carl Padilla (assistant) Tyrell Turner (assistant) wrestling coaches; and Kim Kendall and Stacie Kincher, high school activities volunteers. The board also accepted the resignation of Cassie Hobbs as a food service worker. Several policies approved by the board on third and final reading covered topics including district purchasing, conduct on school property, prohibiting the possession or being under the influence of alcohol, drugs or other controlled substances, procedures and conditions regarding the administration of medical marijuana on school grounds and fees for community use of school facilities. Proposed policies or changes in policies which are on the board’s agenda for November on third and final reading include topics of non-discrimination, open hiring, student admission and denial, bullying, student concerns and complaints, maternity and parental leave, student immunization and the bonding of certain employees and officers. Selle alerted the board to a public meeting on Nov. 2 about Meeker economic development projects. This session starts at 6 p.m. at the Mountain Valley Bank community room, hosted by Rio Blanco County and the Town of Meeker. The board also agreed to hold a district informational community meeting on Monday, Nov. 7, in the high school auditorium to review future Meeker public school financing including public ideas for priority spending of the $875,000 ending fund balance which was left from the last school year, at 7 p.m. All community members are urged to attend.