Rangely Board of Education President Kurt Douglas called the monthly meeting to order on Tuesday, April 16 at 6:15 p.m. Everyone was in attendance except Casey Ducey at the time of roll call but he was present later on in the meeting. Approval of the meeting agenda was moved by Joyce Key and seconded by Sam Tolley. Approval of the consent agenda was moved by Key and seconded by Jason Cox.
Rangely Jr./Sr. High School Principal Crandal Mergelman presented the December, January and February students of the month awards. The December students of the month, sponsored by Rangely Conoco, were Alanna Wiley and Dylan LeBleu. The January students of the month, sponsored by Jerry Lebleu, were Alexis Wiley and Tytus Coombs. The February students of the month, sponsored by Rangely Napa Auto Parts, were Paityn Myers and Justin Rusher.
RE4 Superintendent Matt Scoggins praised the Rangely School District students as “awesome.” He received a compliment from the Ignacio, Colorado school superintendent regarding the behavior of Rangely’s students during a recent sporting event.
Scoggins reported that the health and education fair was very successful, he thanked all the staff and community organizations that participated. He recognized Kris Denny for her efforts in organizing the event. He also thanked all the parents, staff and community members who donated their time and items for the Rowdy Worm after-prom party.
Scoggins spoke about the mock accident coordinated with the state patrol and other first responders. “It was phenomenal and impressive,” he said. Scoggins expressed his utmost appreciation to all the students and people who helped put it together. “It touched the students deeply and made an impact on them.”
During the principals’ reports, Parkview Elementary Principal Mike Kruger spoke about the pep rally that was executed to get the students excited for their CMAS testing. The testing will last throughout the month of April. He also noted that the school’s technology has held up great and every time they had a hitch IT Director Blake Mobley fixed it in a timely manner. He reported that elementary enrollment is currently 278 students; this time last year it was 290.
Principal Mergelman agreed with Kruger saying they have not had an issue due to technology during the state testing. He reported that nearly all students had tested, with the exception of some scheduled make-up tests due to student absences. Graduation is scheduled for May 19 at 2 p.m. this year.
Douglas asked Mergelman why we are having home baseball games in Hotchkiss when our field is playable. Mergelman said he didn’t have the answer to that. This is the third year the team has traveled to Hotchkiss, Paonia, etc. Douglas expressed his concerns saying “it is unfair that Rangely is traveling all of the time.”
The BOCES meeting is scheduled for April 23 and they will finalize the plan for the end of the year. Key gave the RDA update and reported that the museum requested money for a five-year plan from a company that they were happy to finally receive. The RDA meeting for this month has been canceled.
During the superintendent update Scoggins said he questions whether the district will receive $30 million or not from the state. He reported that full-day kindergarten looks like it will be going through and everyone should know more in two weeks. Scoggins and his staff are putting together a budget with a $250,000 deficit.
He attended the Western Slope Superintendent meeting and at that meeting they discussed the possibility of mill levy stabilization bill. Scoggins feels that he may be the only superintendent at the meeting who opposes this bill and said “it will have a negative impact on our community and we are the lone voice out there.” He spoke briefly about the sexual education bill and expects that it will get passed. He expressed his concerns about the teacher shortage. Mergelman attended a UNC job fair and reported that no elementary teachers stopped at his table during a recruitment event.
Kruger said three or four elementary teachers at the Colorado Mesa University Job Fair he attended stopped at his table and expressed interest in coming to Rangely to teach.
During the past two and a half weeks the school server has crashed and Mobley has worked tirelessly to keep the district running. Scoggins spoke about consideration of changing the age requirements for preschool so that children would be a bit older in order to enroll. He reports that research suggests that children enrolled older are more successful in high school and beyond. Scoggins presented the 2019/2020 school calendar and reported that the final changes have about 95% support from the staff. The calendar has gone from 150 to 148 full calendar days. Ducey moved to approve the calendar as presented and Tolley seconded it and the calendar passed unanimously.
A first reading of purchasing procedures is due and Douglas said next month they will need to approve it.
A proposed salary schedule was discussed. There are two different salary schedules. The proposed starting point changes the base salary of district teachers from $33,733 to $34,500. This change will move the RE4 School District up from 85th in the state to 71st for teacher salary. Scoggins recommended to change the weighted GPA cap for next year and honor the 4.0 GPA for the purpose of class ranking and valedictorian. Key moved to approve the contract for Principal Crandal Merglemen and it was seconded by Cox, the board approved it unanimously.
Key moved to go into executive session at 7:47 p.m. to discuss personnel matters and the public portion of the meeting was adjourned. The next Rangely Board of Education meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, May 21 at 6:15 p.m.
By Roxie Fromang
Special to the Herald Times