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The Buena Vista Board of Education met Monday evening, October 9, without Vice President Brett Mitchell and Director Lynn Montoya in attendance. The board approved the District Accountability Committee (DAC) membership, evaluated their performance, heard reports from the school principals, and updated board by-laws to allow virtual meetings or attendance to meetings due to extenuating circumstances.

DAC Membership Approved

The Board voted to approve the membership to the DAC with the addition of Superintendent Lisa Yates as the “school administrator.” Board Director Olivia Bartlett moved to approve with a second from Director Stacey Moss before a unanimous vote among the present members.

In addition to Yates, membership includes:

McKenzie Lyle: Parent, Chair

Cindy Puckett: Parent, Chair-Elect

Jeff Romack: Parent

Brooke Apodaca: Parent

Danielle West: Parent, Secretary

Misty Cronsell: Teacher/parent

Brook Cervenka: Parent

Judy Hamontre: Community

Evelyn Hachmann: Student

Anna Winger: Community Member/Business Owner (member added on October 6). Interest forms will be provided at meeting.

Jessica Crites: Board Representative (added October 9)

The Board discussed changing the language from “school administrator” to “administrator” to open up more possibilities in the future. The Board did not vote on the language change yet as it will be brought up at a future meeting.

Board and Superintendent Found in Compliance with Policy

Superintendent Lisa Yates, Board President Suzette Hachmann, and Board Secretary Tracy Storms evaluated themselves and their adherence to policy.

Yates presented evidence that she is providing adequate information and counsel to the Board and including others’ opinions when doing so.

Hachmann provided evidence of how the Board instructs the superintendent and has the opportunity to provide instruction and feedback on how the superintendent interprets policy and instruction. Hachmann found the board in compliance and had no notes for suggested improvements.

Storm evaluated the Board president’s role and found the president in compliance by ensuring the Board remains consistent with rules and policies, efficient, timely, orderly, and to the point.

After the evaluations, the Board discussed adding a place on the monitoring reports for the names of those who complete them.

The evaluations will be approved at the next Board of Education meeting.

Principal Showcase: Creative

The principals of each school updated the Board with a focus on the “Creative” aspect of the seven C’s. “Creative” as defined by the district website is “skillfully imagining, generating, and communicating ideas to inspire, innovate, connect, and challenge by:

  • Innovating by synthesizing existing and new knowledge to develop unique ideas and solutions.
  • Embracing challenges and failing forward.
  • Making multiple attempts and finding multiple pathways.”

The Grove Director Dione Garritson highlighted creative ways kids find to play with each other, such as older and younger students figuring out how to play with leaves through the fence separating their recess areas, or students “cooking” in the playground using sand for salt and rocks for cakes.

Avery Parsons Principal Emily Madler showcased some creativity from staff by showing a bike safety obstacle course in the gym where Scott Crites made different paths, including a stop sign and stoplight to teach bike safety to students.

Buena Vista Middle School Principal John Emilsson highlighted an art project involving digital and mixed media where students designed stickers saying, “Be a creator, not a hater.” The designs were voted on throughout the school, and the winning selection was printed. Beyond art projects, Emilsson mentioned creativity showcased in STEM classes where students built survival shelters out of local resources or built airplanes using principles of flight.

Buena Vista High School Principal Liz Barnaby said that Homecoming week was wonderful, and highlighted creativity by mentioning how they used small fire pits in lieu of the traditional community bonfire.

Chaffee County High School (CCHS) Dean of Students Kelly Chandler was not present, but a few slides showcasing CCHS student creativity and art were viewed by the Board.

Board Approves Option for Members to Join Meetings Virtually

The Board was asked to consider allowing virtual attendance of special meetings by some or all Board members due to extenuating circumstances.

The updated language reads, “For extenuating circumstances, the president of the Board of Education may call a special meeting to be conducted virtually by all members as a quorum with information provided to the public for virtual participation.“

“Extenuating circumstances” was also expanded to include illness. The Board voted unanimously to approve the change to the GP 13 Board by-laws.

The full agenda and packet for the October 9 meeting is available on the School District’s website.  The consent agenda was approved unanimously without any changes.

The next regular meeting of the Buena Vista School Board is set for 6:30 p.m. on Monday, October 23.