MSD backs broadband projects, hears reports, OKs coaches

MEEKER I In August, the Meeker Board of Education (BOE) voted to support the county broadband project, heard a number of reports from administrators and approved a number of new hires, coaches and activity sponsors.

On Aug. 4, in the interest of facilitating the implementation of a county information technology infrastructure, the Board approved a resolution declaring its support for Rio Blanco County’s broadband project and authorized the county and its broadband partners to run fiber lines through school property and to maintain those lines once installed.
The BOE also heard reports Aug. 18 from each of the building principals.
Meeker Elementary School Principal Kathy Collins reported that the elementary school ran a three-week summer school session that helped 27 students in reading and math.
She also said the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills benchmark testing and the Northwest Evaluation Association testing will begin the week of Sept. 1.
The second grade, she reported, will be attending the annual Meeker Classic Sheepdog Trials in September; the Jighead Irish Storytellers will visit, complement reading, listening and speaking standards at the school; and the fifth grade will be taking the annual science trip to Trappers Lake. She also said the level of allergens at the school has been a concern that is being addressed.
Barone Middle School Principal Jim Hanks said the year is off “to a fantastic start” and that the new school office, which has been moved downstairs to the first floor, is functioning very well.
Two areas of concern being addressed by the staff, he said, are the tardy rate through better communicating expectations and the use of Friday morning sessions to make up for missing school work.
BMS has also increased its emphasis on communication with parents and the community by implementing its own Facebook page, updating the web page on the district website and sending appropriate email messages to families.
The volleyball and football participation numbers are looking especially good, Hanks reported, with 61 percent of the girls out for volleyball and 67 percent of the boys out for football in addition to a female out for football.
Meeker High School Principal Amy Chinn reported the morale of the high school staff was great as they were all emphasizing trust and professionalism.
The staff has three areas of concern they’re addressing: the dress code, parking and attendance, including the tardy rate.
Chinn reported 43 athletes out for football, 18 for volleyball, 25 for softball (about half of the latter are from schools other than Meeker) and nine for cross country.
She said having some 20 students involved in work study around the community “will mean some students will be seen in the community during school hours, but they shouldn’t be in herds.”
Homecoming, she said, will be the weekend of Oct. 2-3.
The MHS student council is off and running, Chinn reported, with athletic director Klark Kindler and language arts teacher Kathleen Kelley as sponsors.
Superintendent Chris Selle reported to the board the number of students starting in the district this year was 626 full-time equivalents (pre-schoolers and kindergarten students don’t count as full FTEs] while the number the district projected for budget purposes was only 617 FTE. With the preschoolers and kindergarteners, there are actually 720 students: high school 192, middle school 138 and elementary 390.
Selle also reported how pleased he is that the Meeker Fire District Board has agreed to the $80,000 funding of the Barone Middle School’s fire suppression and alarm system upgrade.
Personnel hires, coaches and sponsors approved by the board in August include the following: Middle School football coaches: assistant Jason Browning, volunteers Chip Brown and Clinton Kilduff; cross-country volunteer coaches Kris Casey, Terrence Casias and John Strate; softball volunteer coaches Brian Merrifield, George Ibarra, Lance Pryce, Andy Shaffer, Janae Shelton and Chris Williams; agriculture education long-term substitute teacher Tera Shults; elementary paraprofessional Shey Musgrave; substitutes and support staff substitutes Brenda Brooks, Vanessa Trout, Edgar Reyes Garcia, Sheryn Caudle, Kitti Piloni, Jillian Caudle and Amy Kilduff; and drama sponsors Bob Amick, Gary Zellers and Laurie Zellers.
Selle reported by email that middle school coaches who have also been approved for continuation are Darby Finley (football), Roxie Chintala (volleyball) and Greg Chintala (assistant volleyball).
Colorado State Law requires school districts to appoint a “personnel performance evaluation council” to consult with the board as to the fairness, effectiveness, credibility and professional quality of the licensed personnel performance evaluation system, its processes and procedures. The council is also to conduct a continuous evaluation of the system. The council must include, at a minimum, one teacher, one administrator, one principal, one resident who is a parent of a district student and one resident who is not a parent of a current student.
The BOE approved a 2015-2016 district performance evaluation council of: Stacy Hudelson, resident parent; Anthony Mazzola, resident non-parent; Becky Hughes, elementary school teacher; Kris Casey, middle school teacher; Cheri Robinson, high school teacher; the three school principals and the superintendent.
The board also approved the superintendent’s goals regarding communications, public relations, student learning and strategic planning as reported Aug. 13.
Coming out of their work session “retreat” at the end of July, the BOE has set a new plan for their monthly meetings. On the first Tuesday of the month, the board will have a work session where no actual business will be conducted, but topics will be discussed and backgrounded.
On the third Tuesday of the month, the board will conduct a regular meeting. Both will begin at 7 p.m. unless otherwise posted.
The next meeting will be a work session Sept. 1. Topics will include attendance guidelines, capital expenditures, board of education norms, self-evaluations, personnel processes and public relations processes.