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Jan. 21 Board Briefing

Saddle Ranch Elementary School awards

The Douglas County Board of Education convened for business at 7 p.m. on January 21, 2014.  Sophie Pepin, member of Student Advisory Group and ThunderRidge High School senior joined Board members on the dais. The Board conducted 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 on the official DCSD Livestream channel at www.livestream.com/dcsdk12.

Student and Staff Recognition

The Board of Education was proud to recognize the achievement of outstanding schools.

The Board honored schools awarded the 2013 School and District Performance Awards by Colorado Department of Education.

The Governor’s Distinguished Improvement awards are given to schools that demonstrate excellent student growth. On the school performance framework that is used by the state to evaluate schools, these schools “exceed” expectations on the indicator related to longitudinal academic growth over three years.

In 2013, 95 schools across the state and 12 in Douglas County earned this award:

Acres Green Elementary Gina Smith, Principal
Copper Mesa Elementary Nancy Wortman, Principal
Cougar Run Elementary John Gutierrez, Principal
Flagstone Elementary Kelli Smith, Principal
Highlands Ranch High School Jerry Goings, Principal
Lone Tree Elementary Mindy Persichina, Principal
Northridge Elementary Elizabeth Morris, Principal
Parker Core Knowledge Teri Aplin, Principal
Redstone Elementary Laura Wilson, Principal
Saddle Ranch Elementary Ryan Craven, Principal
Soaring Hawk Elementary Kyle Sorg, Principal
Stone Mountain Elementary Drew Brueckner, Principal

John Irwin awards are given to schools that demonstrate excellent academic achievement. On the school performance framework that is used by the state to evaluate schools, these schools “exceed” expectations on the indicator for academic achievement over three years. In 2013, 166 schools across the state and 23 Douglas County schools earned this award:

Academy Charter Yvette Brown, Principal
American Academy Erin Kane, Principal
Bear Canyon Elementary Allison Olson, Principal
Buffalo Ridge Elementary Sarah McAfee, Principal
DCS Montessori Jeromy Johnson, Principal
Heritage Elementary Alisa Pauley, Principal
Highlands Ranch High School Jerry Goings, Principal
Mountain Ridge Middle School Shannon Clarke Principal
Mountain Vista High School Michael Weaver, Principal
Parker Core Knowledge Teri Aplin, Principal
North Star Academy Holly Hensey, Principal
Northridge Elementary Elizabeth Morris, Principal
Pine Grove Elementary Molly Gnaegy, Principal
Platte River Academy Gary Steuven, Principal
Redstone Elementary Laura Wilson, Principal
Rock Canyon High School Andy Abner, Principal
Rocky Heights Middle School Mike Loitz, Principal
Saddle Ranch Elementary Ryan Craven, Principal
Stone Mountain Elementary Drew Brueckner, Principal
Summit View Elementary Sheri Coll, Principal
ThunderRidge High School Carole Jennings, Principal
Timber Trail Elementary Michele Radke, Principal
Wildcat Mountain Elementary Molly Milley, Principal

Six DCSD schools earned both of these outstanding awards this year:

Highlands Ranch High School Jerry Goings, Principal
Northridge Elementary Elizabeth Morris, Principal
Parker Core Knowledge Teri Aplin, Principal
Redstone Elementary Laura Wilson, Principal
Saddle Ranch Elementary Ryan Craven, Principal
Stone Mountain Elementary Drew Brueckner, Principal

Superintendent Reports

Internal Communications Officer Randy Barber updated the Board of Education on the new DCSD website. The new site goes live on January 22 and features better navigation, improved transparency, and great content. Read more

Superintendent Dr. Elizabeth Fagen briefed members of the Board of Education on “Job Alike.” Job Alike, held on January 17, was an all-day professional development event that featured keynote speaker Marc Prensky, an internationally known author, speaker, and innovator on the topic of education. In addition to the keynote, teachers participated in breakout sessions with colleagues from across the district.

System Performance Officer Dr. Syna Morgan and Assistant Superintendent Dan McMinimee provided an update on school and district performance. Following the presentation, Dr. Morgan and Mr. McMinimee engaged in a discussion about over testing with members of the Board of Education.  (LINK)

System Performance Officer Dr. Syna Morgan provided an update on CITE Standard 6

Chief Operations Officer Bill Moffit, Internal Communications Officer Randy Barber and Chief Technology Officer Gautam Sethi presented information about student and staff safety.

Chief Financial Officer Bonnie Betz and Budget Director Scott Smith presented a FY 2013-2014 financial plan and budget update.

Board Committee & Liaison Reports

DCSD Board of Education President Kevin Larsen reminded members of the Board of Education that graduation dates and times have been posted. He also highlighted several great events around DCSD including the Warrior Rumble. Larsen also praised athletes honored at the annual Girls & Women in Sports Luncheon.

Director Meghann Silverthorne introduced Sophie Peppin for an update on the Student Advisory Group. Peppin noted that Assistant Superintendent Dan McMinimee attended the most recent SAG meeting.

Public Comment

The Board engaged in public comment with members of the community.

Adoption of the Consent Agenda

The Board voted by a margin of 6-0 to adopt the consent agenda:  Staff recommendations, detailed in Agenda Items #21-#30, organized for the Board of Education block approval.

Action Items

2013-2014 Schools on Priority Improvement or Turnaround Unified Improvement Plans (eDCSD and HOPE Online)
Director Reynolds asked for more information and an update on the process. Dr. Syna Morgan reported that there are two DCSD schools on Priority Improvement or Turnaround Unified Improvement Plans, HOPE Online and eDCSD. The Board of Education voted by a margin of 6-0 to approve the plans and submit them to the Colorado Department of Education.

Revised FY 2013-2014 Financial Plan and Budget and Revised FY 2013-2014 Budget Resolutions 
The Board unanimously approved the financial plan, budget and budget resolutions.

Board of Education Resolution Regarding State-Mandated Testing
In a unanimous vote, the Douglas County School District (DCSD) Board of Education passed a resolution to address “testing madness.”  The DCSD assessment calendar illustrates the urgent need for change. Students at one level or another are taking tests nearly every day of the year, most of which are mandated by state law.

According to district officials, a confluence of legislation has created an increase in testing this year. On top of the intensive TCAP schedule and trial testing for the new PARCC tests, school districts across Colorado, including Douglas County, have been forced to add more standardized exams in an effort to meet new mandates. 

“The unfortunate result of the complex web of state laws has been over-testing,” continued Larsen.  “We are committed to doing what is best for our students and that means finding a solution and some relief from over testing.”

According to the resolution, “the Board of Education is actively advancing legislation which would provide school districts in Colorado an option to be fully accountable for creating quality, local assessments that measure what matters most for our students, and reporting those results to the community.  The legislation would also recognize a parent’s right to exempt their students from the statewide standardized tests without risk of a penalty to the student, teacher, school or district.”

Board of Education Resolution Regarding a Director Vacancy
The Board of Education formally accepted the resignation of Director Justin Williams.  Williams submitted his resignation effective immediately.  The Board passed a resolution outlining the process to replace Director Williams which includes a request for candidates to apply for appointment. The resolution was approved by a margin of 6-0. Director Williams was elected to the Board of Education in 2007 and re-elected in 2011 from District F. His term expires in November of 2015. 

Board File:  BEDH Public Participation at Board Meetings. 
The Board discussed and unanimously updated the policy regarding public participation at board meetings.  “Our goal is to increase public engagement and provide more opportunities for input to our stakeholders.”

ADJOURNMENT

audio iconSession 1 audio recording
Session 2 audio recording

January 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.