The Mancos school board approved a series of funding authorizations at their regular meeting on a snowy Monday night.
Directors first unanimously authorized Chief Financial Officer Christina Miller and Superintendent Brian Hanson to borrow unencumbered money from other district funds, and then approved a portion of the FY19 beginning fund balance for a series of purchases: $4,683,921 to continue the Mancos Re-6 Renovation Project, $25,400 to buy a Kubota diesel tractor and $176,400 to buy Donald Higman’s property at 300 W. Grand Ave.
The board also approved the fiscal year 2019 budget, though the approval came without much discussion.
“For the current year, we’re tracking,” Hanson said.
The budget included a total appropriation of $31,410,060.10 for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2018, and ending June 20, 2019.
New hiresThe board unanimously approved three new hires, including Elijah Knepper as the head high school basketball coach for the rest of the 2018-19 season, Anna Cox as part-time high school administrative assistant, and Lela Puckett as an elementary school paraprofessional.Cox’s position was necessary in part because of the reduced staff at the high school, due to former Principal Adam Priestley’s recent resignation, Hanson said.
“Being down one staff member at the high school, namely the secondary principal position, I felt some additional help was needed in the high school office,” he said.
Project-based learningMancos teachers Ivy Dalley and Alys Hansen presented new “project-based learning carts,” set to be rolled out to classrooms next Monday, as part of the district’s move toward implementing more 21st century-oriented curriculum. The carts were filled with a variety of arts and crafts supplies and will be available for teachers to check out.The presentation led to a larger discussion on how to implement project-based learning curriculum in a rigorously and how to ensure that momentum on the programming keeps moving forward, especially as the district seeks a new secondary principal.
“I think it’s a great seed that’s been planted,” Hanson said.
Renovation projectMonty Guiles, the owner’s representative for the district’s large-scale renovation, updated the board on the progress of the project, highlighting that the new playground had been turned over to the school and that the new elementary school lunchroom framing gave a sense of the grandeur of the final product.However, Guiles said, the building team was not happy with the color of the gray block in front of the northern addition to the historic gym. They are currently in conversation with Jaynes Construction Corp., the company contracted to complete the $25 million project, on how to enhance the design, he said.
Also in renovation news, directors approved a compromise with neighboring property owners in order to be able to proceed with developing the campus’ shot put area.
When the district surveyed the area as part of their Building Excellent Schools Today grant application, they found that the neighbor’s yard encroached upon about 17 feet of the district’s property, Hanson said. District staff and the neighbors decided to adjust the line to give the school district about 8 feet of the contested area for their project, while allowing the neighbors to retain about 10 feet.
Elementary newsPreschool staff recently received a surprise visit on Jan. 8 and 9 by state representatives, who evaluated classrooms on how teachers were interacting with students both academically and socially, elementary school Principal Cathy Epps said in her report.“They knocked it out of the park,” Epps said.
She and others are working to submit documents on the standards used to rate the school. The school should be notified of their final rating by the end of February.
Also in her report, Epps added that an anonymous donor had recently given $12,000 to support teachers with their needs, including outdoor education equipment and warm clothing for preschool students.