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October 21 Board Briefing

Board of Education Oct. 21 meeting

The Douglas County Board of Education convened for a public meeting at 5 p.m. on October 21, 2014. The Board business items and engaged public comment from a crowd of students, parents, teachers, and community members. The live stream of board meetings can be found online at the official DCSD Live Stream Channel.

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Meet the Board of Education



Student and staff recognition

Breanne HunterNext month, Chaparral freshman Breanne Hunter will be on her way to Washington, D.C. to be honored as a rising star in student journalism.

Recently, the Journalism Education Association (JEA) named Breanne as the 2014 “Aspiring Young Journalist.” The award was created to celebrate the amazing work of junior high and middle school students. Only one national winner is named by the JEA every year.

While she is now on the yearbook staff at Chaparral High School, the award recognizes Breanne’s work at Sierra Middle School. The school has become a journalistic powerhouse, annually competing with high schools around the nation.

Congratulations Breanne!

Cougar Run Elementary staff membersCougar Run Elementary was one of 337 schools selected nationally as a 2014 Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education. The award is recognition of overall academic excellence.

Cougar Run was named a Blue Ribbon School in the department’s “Exemplary High Performing Schools” category. The school was one of only four Colorado schools to be honored this year.

Representing Cougar Run at the meetng were Principal John Gutierrez, Stefanie Dell, Karen Foreman, Shannon McPherson, Andrea McNamara and Amy Moyle.

Congratulations Cougar Run, for representing DCSD so well!


DCSD Budget staffCongratulations to DCSD Budget Director Scott Smith and his team, on their collaborative achievement in receiving the prestigious Association of School Business Officials (ASBO) International Budget Award for fiscal year 2014-2015.

Over the past two years, Director Scott Smith has worked with his budget staff, primarily Joshua Curnow and Alexandria Borlabi, as well as Jesse Shaw, John Waltrip and Colleen Temple, in cleaning up and refining the budget book format and content with the intent of making sure it meets the requirements associated with both the ASBO and Government Finance Officers Association budget book rubrics.  This book is a comprehensive financial report providing both District as well as individual school and department detail.  This Comprehensive Budget Book is available on line for the community and Board review.

Congratulations, DCSD Budget Team!

Superintendent reports

Pat McGraw

Choice Update

Development and Innovation Officer Pat McGraw, in partnership with School-Community Partnership Coordinator Kathy Brown, provided an update concerning Choice, Open Enrollment and the School Selector Tool. McGraw reported that approximately 27% of DCSD students utilize Choice and attend a school other than their assigned neighborhood school. Brown shared details on the upcoming DCSD Choice Fairs, which are scheduled October 27-30.
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Matt Reynolds

Interim Assessment Update

Chief Assessment and Systems Performance Officer Matt Reynolds and his team shared an update with the Board regarding the DCSD Interim Assessment Program. Reynolds shared that the program guides instruction, measures student growth and builds sustainability.
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Jason Germain

Introduction to Personalized Learning

Chief Student Advocacy Officer Dr. Jason Germain and members of his team introduced the Board to the work found in the Personalized Learning department. The group explained that Personalized Learning is a student-focused and service-oriented department comprised of Special Education/504, Educational Programming, Health and Wellness, Early Childhood Education, and Title/Grants.
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Board Committee and Liaison Reports

Board Report: President and Vice President Items

Board President Kevin Larsen shared that several members of Boy Scout Troop 365 are in attendance at tonight’s meeting, working on badges related to citizenship and communications. Larsen welcomed the students and thanked them for being here.

Board Committee and Liaison Reports

Adoption of Consent Agenda

The Board voted by a margin of 7-0 to adopt the consent agenda: Staff recommendations, detailed in Agenda Items #18-#24, organized for the Board of Education block approval.

Action Items

Long Range Planning Committee Membership Recommendations

The Board voted by a margin of 7-0 to accept recommendations to serve on long range planning committee. Seventeen community members applied for six LRPC vacancies. An interview team comprised of a three member subcommittee of the LRPC and Planning Manager Shavon Caldwell interviewed candidates. Eleven applicants were interviewed by the committee on September 23rd, 28th, and 29th. The remaining six applicants either did not respond to the invitation to interview or notified DCSD that they were no longer interested in interviewing.

The recommended members approved by the Board include:

  • Matthew Rogers-Chaparral HS feeder area
  • Katie Fox-Legend HS feeder area
  • Karen Zimmerman-Ponderosa HS feeder area
  • Bradford Geiger-Mountain Vista HS feeder area
  • Cassi Meyers-Douglas County HS feeder area
  • Laura Lamb-At Large

2014-2015 Compensation and Benefit Programs for both Certified and Classified Staff

The Board voted by a margin of 7-0 to approve the 2014-2015 Compensation and Benefit Programs for both Certified and Classified Staff as follows:

Changes for Certified:

  • Eliminated Leaves of Absence items and employees will be redirected to Superintendent Policy GBGF-Leaves of Absence.
  • Planning Time - Moved from 40 minutes of planning time per day to 200 minutes per work week to provide principals more flexibility with scheduling.
  • Compensation appendices have been updated to reflect 2014-2015 changes.
  • Severance Pay - changed payout to $48 per day.

Classified Changes:

  • Eliminated Leaves of Absence items and employees will be redirected to Superintendent Policy GBGF-Leaves of Absence.
  • TEA bid process change.
  • Time reporting change from 15 minute increments to actual time.

Consideration of Membership in Colorado Association of School Boards

The Board discussed the possibility of a one-year membership in the Colorado Association of School Boards for the 2014-2015 school year. Board President Larsen will reach out to CASB and invite a representative to attend the next DCSD Board of Education meeting.

Policy Revisions

First Reading: Proposed Amendment to Board File: LBD Charter Schools

The Board held a first reading and discussion regarding a proposed amendment to Policy LBD: Charter Schools. The amendment centers on an accelerated application process and timeline for charter school applicants who have a move-in ready facility available.

Public Comment


The Board adjourned the meeting at 9:25 p.m.

October 22, 2014 | By SCPaulsen | Category: Board of Education

District News

kids running outside as part of a race

DCSD is requesting parent input on the health and wellness of our students. Last year, DCSD received a large planning grant from Colorado Health Foundation in an effort to assess how the district supports students through the lens of the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child model (WSCC). The mission of this grant is to review the current state of DCSD's student health and wellness program, and then formulate a three to five-year plan based on stakeholders’ needs, the latest research, and best practices. As part of this process, we would like your input.

How are we doing?

We want to hear from you! How often do you prefer to receive email newsletters from DCSD? How can we improve the news and information you receive? This brief survey should only take a minute or two of your time. Thank you for giving us your input!

Tell us what you think, here!


glowing purple lights hover over trays of seedlings in a dark room

It may look like a plain, white shipping container was just parked on the backyard grounds of Mountain Vista High School. The contents of the container are anything but plain, though. Walking inside the container, different colors of ambient lighting glow, futuristic-looking equipment and tall towers are suspended from the ceiling, and the humidity level is set to 70 percent. The container has been recycled into a new kind of learning opportunity for students.