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Durango 9-R Board of Education Meeting Recap January 25th, 2022

Watch the meeting Here 
See the agenda and supporting documents Here

What we voted to:

  • Approve the Consent Agenda: We approved the Board and Superintendent's consent agenda, which included our work session meeting minutes, quarterly financials, leave of absence requests, and the Human Resources Consent Agenda

  • Deny Ascent Classical Academy’s Request: In December of 2021 Ascent Classical Academy requested that we relinquish our authority to review their charter application and allow them to apply for authorization through the statewide Colorado Charter Schools Institute (CSI) instead. We voted unanimously not to relinquish our chartering authority because we want to maintain local oversight over new schools in our community. We look forward to reviewing their application during the application window this fall.
  • Find Dr. Cheser in Compliance with Technology Operational Expectations: We voted unanimously that Dr. Cheser is in compliance with our Technology Operational Expectations. Link also to cover sheet and presentation
  • Approve the 2022-23 School Calendar - We voted to approve the 2022-2023 academic calendar, which includes early (1-hour) release Mondays, a fall break, and school getting out Memorial Day.
  • Increase pay and give one-time bonuses to all staff: In May 2021, the Board executed an Memorandum of understanding (MOU) that was achieved with the two district bargaining units outlining the possibility for additional employee compensation for the 2021-2022 school year based upon identified financial triggers.  Per the MOU, the DEA and DESPA Negotiations Teams convened in January 2022, to review and negotiate compensation that may be available based upon the outlined triggers for the 2021-2022 school year. The district had additional unassigned fund balance above the 15% savings  requirement (Board Policy DB), triggering negotiations. We unanimously approved the negotiated agreement to increase each salary step by $3250 for licensed staff and increased hourly employee pay an equivalent amount ($2.10/hour). We also increased Managerial/Technical Staff and Administrative staff salary schedules by an equivalent amount. In addition, we are giving all full-time staff a one time stipend of $1250. A pro-rated bonus will be given to part-time employees.. 

We discussed:

  • Our State Budget Resolution: We read aloud the 9-R Resolution in Support of Paying off the Budget Stabilization Factor in 2022, which we had passed on January 11th.
  • Staff Recognition: We honored our Health Service Providers and Special Education staff for going above and beyond throughout the pandemic to serve our students and keep our community safe.
  • School Showcase: We heard from Animas Valley Elementary teachers and students who are making incredible progress in reading. Teachers shared their work and students shared how they were able to make progress and why they are proud of their accomplishments.
  • The Juniper School’s proposed expansion: Philip Werline, Juniper Principal, presented their proposed plan for expanding into 7th and 8th grades. We will be asking for additional information to facilitate a deeper discussion about it at our work session in February.
  • Public Participation: We heard from 10 members of the public. Folks spoke both in support of and against allowing Ascent Classical Academy to apply for charter authorization through the Colorado Charter School Institute (CSI) instead of through 9-R. There was one commenter asking us to reverse our mask mandate. Several other commenters added either their support or opposition to the mask requirement.
  • Technology Results: We were presented with new data from the BrightBytes survey, which was administered for the first time, as well as a presentation about some best practices seen in other districts, and the new Information Technology Plan.
  • COVID Update: We were presented with the latest COVID data, which included a review of mask efficacy and mental health impacts. Link to presentation.
  • New Business: We discussed adding a high school cell phone policy discussion to our next work session and updating our communications plan for public input to ensure a more diverse representation of topics.