CREEDE— The Creede Board of Education discussed money matters, curriculum and transportation at the Creede School on Tuesday, Jan. 22.
Sherry Scallan, director of finance and human resources, presented preliminary numbers but emphasized that property tax documents have been delivered only recently.
“When statements come from properties,” Scallan explained, “then people start paying. Then the property tax bump will come.” Scallan also noted that grant reimbursements are coming in at different rates. To simplify the process, Scallan requests the total reimbursement at the end of the cycle.
Collin Vinchattle, dean of restorative services, reported the departure of three students after the Christmas break. They left unexpectedly, but a new student started last week and a new family with two young children is on its way to Creede.
Following a report on Knowledge Bowl and athletic performances, Vinchattle reported success with restorative practices on campus. Parents and students shared in the process, and students worked one-on-one to resolve other conflicts.
The dean described relationship-building between seniors and middle schoolers, as well as a program for first and second graders learning how to communicate instead of fighting when playing “Cops and Robbers.”
Regarding school property now for sale at 201 N. La Garita, designated real estate agent Anne Pizel discussed options for completing an inspection. Like residential real estate deals, due diligence is the buyer’s domain. Working with Davis Engineering on the survey report and Allpine Title to examine parcel numbers, Pizel is representing the school district’s interests.
When the topic of transportation came up, board member David Robinson emphasized how they need to “keep students and families at the front of all these discussions.” Students traveling from South Fork account for more than one third of the school. Centered between Creede and Del Norte, South Fork parents choose a school district based on individual criteria. But transporting children challenges the boundaries between districts as well.
Colorado Department of Education parameters preclude public funding for private bus service. The San Luis Valley includes a patchwork of school districts loosely tied to counties, which forces parents to try different schemes for transportation. Between the Sangre de Cristo and Alamosa school districts, for example, some parents routinely pick up and drop off students at the dividing line.
Regarding multiple policies, the board approved the second reading of 10 policy documents, all containing redacted text to accommodate changes in other documents.
Next, board members learned the history of school fees in Creede. Students have never paid an athletic fee in Creede, and 43 percent of the student body receives free lunch and is exempt from fees, as determined by state law.
Fees and student costs go toward hot lunches, parking permits (only charged to student drivers), secondary physical education shirts, choir attire, musical instrument rental and transportation for certain field trips (not sports).
Coaches host fundraisers each season to cover costs. Although the district budgets for stipends for coaches and officials, other expenses are not covered (for example, balls, uniforms and equipment).
The Creede Board of Education will meet again at the school on Feb. 26.