By Kelli McCaffrey
The regular meeting of the Akron R-1 School District Board of Education began Tuesday, October 11 with a business session at 6:00 p.m. Board members present were: Jessica Filla, President; Nathan Quick, Vice President; Megan Bower, Treasurer; and Andy Molt, secretary.
Ms. Hamilton introduced three members of Grade 5 Ram Squad. Each member then explained their favorite aspect of the Ram Squad and the activities they participated in this year.
Title I teacher Laura Loutensock introduced her team of Bobbi Christensen and Colleen Watson. She then went on to explain in detail the literacy intervention, how children are identified, progress monitoring and the types of support our students receive if needed. She concluded by mentioning the upcoming Family Literacy Night on October 20 and Family Math Night on March 30. She also thanked the Bank of Colorado for sponsoring Family Literacy Night so that every child could take home a book.
Ms. Houston and her FBLA members introduced leaders, presented activities for the year, and discussed their competitive events and fundraisers for the year. The yearbook class then introduced the yearbook theme and displayed the clothing created by A-Line Design.
Bill Dorrenbacher led the prayer. The oath of allegiance was recited.
Elementary Principal Kendra Anderson congratulated Loutensock and her team on their presentation and reiterated how well our literacy interventions are working. She then highlighted some of the recent activities including student RtI and ALP meetings, district accountability committee meeting, high attendance at parent-teacher conferences, and the report card committee continues to work on developing a standards-based report card for elementary grades. In conclusion, Anderson noted that it was a great start to the school year.
Primary and Secondary School Principal Shawn Randel reported that the reimbursement rate for industry certificates is down, but our vocational teachers are still encouraging our students to complete them. Mr. Dreitz and the building trades students are currently working on a home renovation in town with a contractor. Other things he mentioned include middle/high school staff working on setting goals for the year, parent-teacher conference attendance was down, and staff could potentially consider some changes, and he noted the resignation/hiring of a para SPED. Randel then shared some celebrations, which included the FFA judging from a distance, the cheerleading squad, and what a great but loaded homecoming it was. He concluded by congratulating Ms. Hocheder for her work back home and Ms. Houston for organizing the recent College and Career Fair.
Superintendent Brian Christensen highlighted reports from the Director – Maintenance that many events and activities have taken place and engineers have been in the building this week performing the intense scoping phase for the HVAC. Transportation: The board plans to visit the transportation hub at next month’s meeting, the little yellow bus is broken and we’re struggling to get parts, and Christensen noted how lucky the district is to have Cody Jones on his staff as a mechanic. Athletics: Tyler Pickens continues to tweak the spring sports schedules, the Coaches Club’s first monthly meeting took place this week, the CHSAA is considering a big pay rise for officials and Pickens continues to work on adding additional competitions to the college due to the high number of attendances. Technology: the vape sensors have been installed, televisions will soon be installed in the cafe, and the new digital sign is now in production. Advisors: Many meetings have been held, the end of the first term is this week, and in-class classes continue weekly. In his report, Christensen said work with the SAFER grant has begun, which includes a new antenna, walkie-talkies and safety training. The number of students in the district is up by 10 students and we are preparing for the S-CAP, which will be held on November 7th and 8th.
The regular meeting was called for 7:30 p.m. in the Akron school library by President Jessica Filla. Members present were Jessica Filla, President; Nathan Quick, Vice President; Megan Bower, Treasurer; and Andy Molt, secretary. Fred Raish was absent.
A motion was made by Andy Molt to change the agenda by adding Paula McGuire as the high school knowledge bowl coach to item e of the consent agenda and the purchase of a trailer from the building trades to action 7a. Nathan Quick seconded the motion. Roll-call vote: Bower, yes; Filla, yes; Shedding, yes; Quick, yes. Motion carried. A motion was moved by Andy Molt to approve the amended agenda. Nathan Quick seconded the motion. Roll-call vote: Bower, yes; Filla, yes; Shedding, yes; Quick, yes. Motion carried.
Items on the agenda by consent included the minutes of the business session of September 13, 2022 and the regular meeting of the Board of Directors; September bills; financial reports; approve the resignation of Lain Bernhardt, SPED High Needs paraprofessional; endorse Jannet Perchez Venzor, SPED High Needs Paraprofessional and Paula McGuire, High School Knowledge Bowl Coach. A motion was moved by Andy Molt to approve the agenda items by consent e. Megan Bower seconded the motion. Roll-call vote: Bower, yes; Filla, yes; Shedding, yes; Quick, yes. Motion carried.
Also included in the consent agenda was the approval of kitchen replacement Joy Quick. A motion was made by Andy Molt to approve item f. Megan Bower seconded the motion. Roll-call vote: Bower, yes; Filla, yes; Shedding, yes; Quick, abstain. Motion carried.
Christensen reported at the last meeting that BOCES has reviewed many of the grants that districts are participating in and that the main focus this year for superintendents and directors will be on the Coaction grant. The retreat for all board members will now be held at the CASB convention, and BOCES is making an offer to purchase the Yuma District office.
The CABS Fall Conference and Assembly of Delegates will take place October 21-22. Quick will be attending the Fall Delegates Meeting, and a discussion of the proposed resolutions has taken place.
Christensen reviewed the CASB convention schedule for December 1-3 and travel plans will be finalized closer to the convention.
Akron’s S-CAP exam will take place November 7-8 and will focus on all categories. Surveys will be sent over the next week to students, parents and staff, focus groups are being held and a lot of work will take place over the next few weeks to prepare.
Christensen reviewed his superintendent goals for the year, which include increased board meetings, “Did You Know” section in the newsletter, changes to the athletic program, coaching training and upgrading of the HVAC system. He also mentioned that the administration continues to monitor our current class sizes and building space as our enrollment continues to increase.
Kelli McCaffrey submitted a quote for two trailers for the Building Trades program. The program received the Nathan Yip Foundation grant of $16,000, which will be used to purchase the trailers. A motion was presented by Andy Molt to approve the purchase of the trailers using the grant. Nathan Quick seconded the motion. Roll-call vote: Bower, yes; Filla, yes; Shedding, yes; Quick, yes. Motion carried.
The board conducted the second reading of revised policies, regulations, and exhibits due to changes in federal law, state law, federal guidelines, best practices, and/or for clarity: BEC (Executive Sessions), GBAB (Workplace Health Safety), GBEA (Staff Ethics), GBJ (Personal Records), IC/ICA (School Year Calendar), IHCDA (Concurrent Enrollment), JFAB (Continuous Enrollment), JFABA (Non-Resident Tuition), JFABE-R (Homestay Students), JFBB (Inter-District Choice/Open Enrollment). A motion was presented by Nathan Quick to approve the first reading of the policies. Megan Bower seconded the motion. Roll-call vote: Bower, yes; Filla, yes; Shedding, yes; Quick, yes. Motion carried.
Agenda items for the next meeting include a tour and report of the transportation building and a presentation of the FFA program.
The meeting adjourned at 7:58 p.m.