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The Buena Vista (BV) Board of Education met for their regular meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, September 26. During the meeting, the Board approved a new bus driver in the consent agenda, changed the upcoming date for their November meeting, and approved a trial run capital campaign through the Denver Foundation.

Approved Consent Agenda Includes Hiring of Bus Driver

New bus driver Malisa Willis was approved by the Board in the consent agenda. Superintendent Lisa Yates clarified at the end of the meeting that the currently missing bus routes would not be restored immediately with the hiring of the driver; however, the school is committed to that at least by the second semester.

Rapid-Fire Discussion of Upcoming CASB Resolutions

The Board spent time going through the resolutions on the agenda for the Colorado Association of School Board’s (CASB) upcoming delegate assembly on October 7. Board Vice President Brett Mitchell is attending the conference on behalf of the Buena Vista Board of Education.

“CASB is one tool we have as a board to hopefully affect change at the state level,” explained President Suzette Hachmann.

Superintendent Lisa Yates and members of the Board expressed concerns about the costs of some proposed resolutions and the effects they may have on state funding for schools.

“I have strong feelings about [resolutions] twelve and thirteen,” said Yates. “How are we going to pay for additional tests?”

Resolution Twelve covers Universal Screeners for reading and math. The booklet states, “CASB urges the Colorado General Assembly to set aside resources within the READ Act (specific to dyslexia) and Math Act (HB23-1231) in order to provide universal reading and math screeners during early K12 evidence-based timeframes for best-identifying deficiencies.”

Resolution Thirteen addresses early literacy, stating, “CASB supports legislation that will increase the number of students meeting or exceeding state reading standards by the completion of third grade and continue the state’s focus and investment in early literacy.

The Board also intends to oppose Resolution 22, which supports establishing a minimum wage of $45,000 for every teacher in Colorado.

The full resolution booklet is available in the September 25 meeting packet, which is available online. According to the booklet, “CASB proposes the state of Colorado to allow a seven-year window for school districts to increase their salary schedule before the subsidy ends. Each year the subsidy would decrease by 1/7 to reflect positive changes in school district salary schedules.”

Again the concern for the BV Board was money. “This is the one we stood up against last year because it would cost us five hundred grand,” said Mitchell.

“Ideologically, I really want to support this,” said Director Olivia Bartlett; however, she was concerned about the need to freeze step increases for returning staff in order to accommodate the raised minimum wage.

Ultimately, the Board agreed that it stood in opposition to their budget parameters and that it would negatively affect returning staff, so they would oppose the resolution.

There were thirty-seven resolutions in total up for discussion at CASB. The Board reviewed each one quickly during the meeting, agreeing with most and raising concerns about funding with others.

First November Board Meeting Moved up Before Election

Due to the upcoming election, which involves five seats on the Board, the November meeting date was moved from November 13 to November 6 to ensure that a business meeting, where actions may occur, happens prior to the election.

The following meeting will remain as scheduled on November 27.

The Board is also setting up a linkage meeting with the Chaffee County Economic Development Corporation (EDC) at 5:00 p.m. on October 23 to discuss where their interests may overlap.

Board Approves Capital Campaign with the Denver Foundation

The Board unanimously approved a fundraising effort by the school through the Denver Foundation. The idea is to use the Denver Foundation as a fundraising platform to enable donations small and large, including credit card transactions.

The campaign requires $10,000 to start an account with the Denver Foundation, which the school will put toward the Finish Line campaign for the track.

The $10,000 startup money will come from the building fund for the high school. Yates floated the idea as a trial run to see if partnering with the Denver Foundation for larger projects in the future would be a viable option.

Board President Suzette Hachmann agreed that the effort aligns with their goals of being good stewards of community resources.

The motion to approve this capital campaign experiment with the Denver Foundation passed unanimously.

Updated Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Approved with BV Police, Chaffee Fire and Solvista Health

The new MOU with the Buena Vista Police Department reflects changes recently approved to create a Law Enforcement School Partnership (LESP) to replace the dedicated School Resource Officer (SRO) program.

The approval also covered an agreement with Chaffee County Fire now that they have replaced Buena Vista Fire and a separate agreement with Solvista Health to cover counseling for students.

While the previous agreement with Solvista included a school-based counselor, the new agreement no longer includes this role due to a lack of consistent service and limitations. According to the memo, the district will continue with a single school-based provider at no charge to the district.

The Solvista agreement includes access to the Mobile Crisis Response Team in emergency situations, and the specification that Solvista will receive parental consent for treatment of any student under eighteen.