The Buena Vista Board of Education met for March 13. Here are the things to know:
1 The meeting started with a linkage between the board and the district accountability committee and BV PEAKS groups.
The district posted questions for consideration around the room, and DAC and PEAKS members circulated with board members to share feedback, points of pride and things they’d like to see in the future. Linkages inform board action and planning.
Suggestions included increased communication about board meetings in a newsletter and delineating clear goals and timelines for solutions when the district is not meeting one of the ENDS.
Points of pride included senior portfolio presentations, students’ school and sports pride and the continuing growth and improvement of the work-based learning program.
2 Student-led conferences and celebrations of learning are starting this week, with Avery-Parsons Elementary School kicking theirs off on Thursday. Principal Emily Madler said time will also be set aside for any needed parent-teacher conferences and that the school has a group of staff who have volunteered to form a committee to work on the schedule.
At BVHS, principal Liz Barnaby said student-led conferences will officially start next week and encouraged people to attend the upcoming show, “Bright Star.” She also expressed how proud she was of the students who stayed after the Lady Demons’ game at state to cheer on Salida’s team.
Middle school principal Jon Emilsson said that middle school spring sports will kick off after spring break and that the wrestlers will head to regionals this weekend. Student learning presentations for middle schoolers will run until spring break.
Dionne Garritson, director at the Grove, said the first round of universal preschool ended at the end of February, and that parents will be getting emails from the state offering spots in the school.
The second round will open later based on availability. The Grove’s celebration of learning will take place after spring break, with parents joining their students for a shortened day of preschool.
3 Finance director Janice Martin said she is still working through ESSR-1 closeouts and expects to finish ESSR-2 next year and ESSR-3 in 2024.
Martin said it is a “constant look back” and they receive a lot of questionnaires and follow-ups regarding the funds.
Technology coordinator Matt Brooker said the department is focused on maintaining the district’s tech infrastructure and computers, assisting with the building’s technology infrastructure to support school function and using the tech help desk to support needs.
Additionally, while the high school and middle school building’s technical infrastructure is solid, the fiber-optic system may need to be improved.
“The fiber optic cables have been in place for over 20 years, and I’ve noticed on windy days the network’s not quite as good,” he said. The network has also been dropping packets, which go back and forth in communications. “We’re still doing fine, but it’s one of those things where we need to get it done in the next few years.”
In her report on Administrative Policies K, covering School, Community and Home Relations, superintendent Lisa Yates highlighted policies regarding community use of facilities and use fees. Yates plans to add field use as a list of facilities in addition to the Avery-Parsons parking lot, which was requested for Gold Rush Days. She also discussed policies around school visitors, such as classroom guests, and reiterated that visiting is a privilege, not a right.
“The idea of people just touring the school without good purpose is not encouraged,” she said. “We want to make sure that we keep the learning environment for its purpose. If there is a parent who consistently wants to come into a classroom and it’s disruptive, a teacher could tell the principal that this is now becoming unhelpful. They’re a visitor, and we have the right to say that it’s not conducive to the learning environment for all.”
4 In her EL monitoring report, Yates’ compliance evidence included her distribution of the district’s calendar and schedule. The calendars for the ‘22-’23 and ‘23-’24 school years are already approved and distributed by the board.
Mitchell asked Yates whether she had given additional thought to removing the double negatives in EL policies to help clarify them.
Yates and board president Suzette Hachmann recalled a previous attempt that changed the meaning of some of the policies.
“It was changing the fundamental meaning,” Yates said. “I was having to reword the meaning. That would be something to look at when we have a longer period and are not doing the ELs to see if you want me to continue that process.”
In the board’s report on GP-9, the Board Code of Conduct, board member Olivia Bartlett suggested and the board agreed to strike the second sentence of point 4, which states that “procedures will outline methods of discussions on personnel and policy,” as the procedures are in another policy.
Bartlett said the board does well regarding conflicts of interest and maintaining appropriate privacy when necessary.
The meeting adjourned at 8:55 p.m. The board will have a study session at 5:00 p.m. on Monday, March 20, to discuss policy changes due to new legislation, and their next regular business meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, April 10.
The board meets at 113 N. Court Street in Buena Vista. Meeting agendas, minutes and scheduling information are available at www.bvschools.org
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