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School capital project priorities reviewed PDF Print E-mail
Written by Brenda Johnson Brandt   
Electrical and IT (information technology) projects at both Holyoke JR/SR High and Holyoke Elementary, as well as the boiler, security, fire alarm system and plumbing upgrades at the elementary school have been cited as tentative priority capital projects for Holyoke School District Re-1J.

Budget and facility committee chair Troy Mayfield reported this information at the Oct. 5 meeting of Holyoke School District Board of Education. He said feedback from the committee brought these projects to the top of their list.

Mayfield also noted the committee recognizes the impact ballot issue 3B (mill levy override) will have on meeting the goals of the facilities master plan for the school district.

Looking at capital construction, Mayfield cited the following—with the passage of 3B:

—Maximum size of a project could be the full $4.98 million in the master plan.

—10-year lease-purchase.

—District needs 43 percent and the state contributes 57 percent.

—Still utilize $180,000 already in the budget for other capital projects.

However, if 3B does not pass, the committee recognizes the following:

—Maximum size of a project would be $418,000 in any one year.

—District still needs 43 percent, and state contributes 57 percent.

—No other capital improvements could be completed unless the budget is increased.

Mayfield said the budget and facilities committee has also discussed the BEST program, which is a capital construction grant program operated through the Colorado Department of Education.

This grant process will be further discussed at the committee’s October meeting. They will continue to prioritize capital construction needs, will look at the November election results and will then prepare a grant application based on anticipated revenue.

In his first report of the year, Mayfield also said the committee discussed the Transparency Act and reviewed its implementation timeline. Suggestions were given for the website and updates will be reviewed at the next meeting.


Enrollment close to budgeted figure

Summarizing the district’s enrollment report following the Oct. 1 official school count, Supt. Bret Miles said the number is only 1.2 students below the preliminary budget projection.

Using averaging of past years’ counts for the funded student count, the district is down less than two students from the 2009-10 funded count.

The district continues to see declining enrollment overall. The actual number of students plus Colorado Preschool Program students and Preschool Special Education Services students is at 610 this year. That’s down from 631 in 2009-10, but up from 608 in 2008-09.

Miles noted he’s pleased to see class sizes similar to one year ago, with fewer teachers. Good class sizes is something to celebrate, he added.


School accreditation plans approved

Holyoke Elementary, Holyoke Junior High and Holyoke Senior High were all accredited with specific plans at last week’s board meeting.

The Colorado Dept. of Education designates an accreditation category for each school, based on academic achievement, academic growth, academic growth gaps and in the case of high schools and districts, a fourth criteria of post-secondary readiness.

All schools and districts create improvement plans, with the type of plan assignment determined by the percentage of targets met.

Schools or districts meeting 58 percent or more of the targets create a performance plan, 45-57 percent create an improvement plan, 35-44 percent create a priority improvement plan and if under 35 percent of the targets are met, there is a turnaround plan. Districts may use either the most current year’s data or data over a three-year period.

Holyoke Senior High shall complete a performance plan. The school met 72.3 percent of the accreditation performance frameworks targets in 2009. HHS received a rating of Approaching for Academic Growth Gaps and a rating of Exceeds Expectations for post-secondary readiness.

Holyoke Elementary will also complete a performance plan. The school met 70.2 percent of the accreditation performance frameworks targets over a three-year period. It received a rating of Meets Expectations in all three categories, Academic Achievement, Academic Growth and Academic Growth Gaps.

Holyoke Junior High will complete a priority improvement plan. It met 36.5 percent of the accreditation performance frameworks targets over a three-year period. The school received a rating of Approaching for Academic Achievement and a rating of Does Not Meet Expectations for Academic Growth and Academic Growth Gaps.


Other business

In other business Oct. 5, the Re-1J board:

­—accepted resignations from assistant girls’ softball coach Steven Ortner, effective Sept. 25; elementary aide David Maldonado, effective Oct. 6; and elementary aide Andrea Hershfeldt, effective Oct. 8.

­—made the following committee appointments: Julie Elliott, Jennifer Koops and Stuart Potter to JR/SR high accountability; Sydney Nelson, Whitni Redman and Misti Redman to business education; Mallory Bennett, Socorro Peña and Daniel Burge to family and consumer science; and Natalie Krogmeier and Jessica Deering to budget and facilities advisory.

—recognized classified staff by adopting a proclamation for classified employees week.

—approved first reading of Board Policy BG on school board policy process.

—noted Section G policies on personnel are next up for review, with five policies introduced to the superintendent’s advisory committee Oct. 6.

—held a one hour and 40 minute executive session at the end of the meeting. It started with a brief personnel matter, with most of the session for the superintendent evaluation.