School to work with Neenan on BEST grant application

Holyoke School District is entering negotiations to work with Neenan Archistruction to prepare documents for a Building Excellent Schools Today grant application for a February 2020 deadline.

The grant application focus will be for smaller projects such as Office of Civil Rights compliance items, security upgrades, health and wellness at the JR/SR high, and other similar necessary projects in the school district.

Approval to negotiate with Neenan was given at the Dec. 10 school board meeting.

Superintendent Kyle Stumpf explained the Neenan flowchart of action based on decisions needed by the local board. He noted that this directive helps narrow down the scope of work to be done soon to prepare the grant application for the smaller projects.

Additionally, the board approved entering into negotiations with Schneider Electric to complete an investment grade audit. They’re looking at a contract price not to exceed $40,830.

Stumpf pointed out that the investment grade audit will be completed for every building in the district. At that point, the district can make the decision as to which projects it would like to complete.


Hutches’ resignation accepted; new board member sought

Because he will be leaving the community, Trampas Hutches resigned his position on the Re-1J Board of Education. His resignation was accepted at last week’s meeting, and a board vacancy was declared.

The board has 60 days to fill the position. Interested persons should pick up an application at the administration office and return it by Monday, Jan. 6, at 4 p.m.

Some or all prospective candidates will be interviewed by the board at a public meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 14.

By Tuesday, Jan. 21, at 4 p.m., each candidate must submit a sworn affidavit attesting to their qualifcation for office.

The person appointed to the position will serve until the next regular school election which will be held in November of 2021.


Final pupil count at 587

Sharing the final October count and demographics that were reported to the Colorado Department of Education for 2019-20, Stumpf noted the K-12 actual student count is 587.

This includes 301 white students, 279 hispanics and seven others. The demographics also cite 300 females and 287 males in the student count.

Adding 43 pre-K students served at Dragon’s Wagon Preschool, the total comes to 630. Within this total, 278 have completed paperwork to qualify for free lunches and 64 for reduced-price lunches, combining for 54% of the students.


Mill levy certified

In addition to accepting the 2018-19 audit report that was presented Nov. 25, the board also certified the district’s mill levy for property tax year 2019 at last week’s meeting.

A total mill levy of 35.802 mills was approved, including 27.0 mills in the general fund, 7.0 mills for mill levy override, 0.002 mills for abatement and 1.80 mills for bond redemption.

Assessed valuation for the school district, as of Dec. 13, is $79,381,840.


Various reports given

A number of reports were given at last week’s board meeting.

Elementary school principal Andrea Kammer reported a 91% turnout for the Oct. 14-15 parent-teacher conferences, up 5% from the back-to-school night conferences in grades K-6. Turnouts ranged from 98% from the fourth grade class to 84% from sixth grade.

JR/SR high principal Shane Walkinshaw reported 62% parent-teacher conference turnout, up from last fall’s numbers, partially due to better weather this year. Turnouts ranged from 74% from the seventh grade class to 46% from the sophomore class.

Athletic director John Baumgartner shared details from fall HS and JH sports, including numbers of participants, coaches, records, and post-season team and individual honors. He highlighted that Shianne Willmon was selected to play in the All-State softball game in June, and Blake Mosenteen will play and Dusty Sprague will coach in the All-State football game. Baumgartner also mentioned winter sports seasons participation numbers.

The following proposed vision statement was developed by the Standards of Excellence Committee and reported by Kammer:

“The Holyoke School District provides a positive, safe, inclusive and empowering environment for all students, staff and parents. With a knowledgeable, high quality and dedicated staff and partnerships with parents and the community, the district offers an experience where best practices, professional development, social-emotional learning and an aligned curriculum optimize instruction and ensure student learning and success.

“The district graduates students who have developed into self sufficient, highly motivated, independent critical thinkers who respect cultural differences, are adaptable to change, have positive self esteem and who have secured the necessary skills to succeed as productive citizens.”

Board members noted that this statement nicely shadows the Student-Centered Accountability Program goals. The vision statement is not final at this point.

FFA members and adviser Shauna Strecker recapped their trip to the national convention in Indianapolis, Indiana, and thanked the board for the financial support.

Members of the FFA chapter who attended the board meeting were Tristen Roll, Lauren Bergner, Lauren Herman, Janessa Lutze, Emma Thompson, Jimena Nuñez, Jadon Frost and Kai Siep.

Stumpf referenced progress glitches on the new greenhouse but said they hope to have the structure in the air before leaving for the Christmas break. “We know it will be a quality product,” he added.


Other business

In other business at the Dec. 10 meeting, the school board:

— Recognized outgoing board member Lucas Schlachter, acknowledging his service with a gift. He chose not to seek re-election in the 2019 election.

— Reorganized, electing officers unanimously as follows for two-year terms: Pat Wiebers, president; Dusty Sprague, vice president; Summer Maloney, secretary; and Jon Kleve, treasurer.

— Opted to leave committee appointments the same until a new board member has been appointed. Newly elected member Justin Clayton will replace Schlachter on the ag advisory committee.

— Approved volunteer coaches Daniel O’Keef for HS boys basketball and Jesus Trejo for HS wrestling.

— Set a board retreat for Monday, Feb. 24, instead of in January in order to include the board member they’re looking to appoint.

Holyoke Enterprise

970-854-2811 (Phone)

130 N Interocean Ave
PO Box 297
Holyoke CO 80734