The Yuma-1 Board of Education covered a lot of topics during its regular monthly meeting, Monday night at district headquarters in downtown Yuma.
The district’s $32 million expansion/renovation project covered a main portion of the meeting, but there was plenty else to cover.
Board president Dan Ross, and board members Duane Brown, Kim Langely and Thomas Holtorf were in attendance (though Holtorf was 12 minutes late). Board member Lindsey Galles, who is preparing the Yuma Drama Club for its next spring production, “Chicago,” arrived at the end of the meeting.
The board unanimously approved the calendar for the 2020-21 school year. The calendar is going to be more condensed over the next two school years, allowing for longer summers for work on the district’s $32 million renovation/expansion project.
Superintendent Dianna Chrisman noted there were two calendar options before the board, but more focus was given to the recommended version based on staff feedback.
The calendar maintains the popular Wednesday through Friday off for Thanksgiving, and the two weeks for Christmas vacation. However, that involves sacrificing other traditional days off..
Board members unanimously approved the recommended calendar.
The 2020-21 school year will begin on August 31 for students, and the last day of school is May 14. The Thanksgiving break is November 25-27. The last day of school before Christmas break is December 18, and school resumes January 5. There still is a full spring break in the third week of March. Eighth-grade promotion is May 13, and YHS graduation is May 16. There will be less teacher in-service days, meaning more five-day school weeks.
The purchase of two mini-buses also were approved during Monday’s meeting, The two buses from Collins, for a total of $120,000, was less than the $150,000 budgeted for the purchases. Plus, the district is utilizing “small, rural school” funds from the state to make the purchases.
The new mini-buses will be yellow in color, and will be used on routes, transportation supervisor Jeanne Yenter explained. There was a discussion about the need to attract new bus drivers. Following suggestions by Holtorf, Chrisman said the district is exploring the same options, such as enticing current staff members to commit to being either a morning or after school route driver to help fill the need.
The district has had a need for new bus drivers for years, but has not received a single application in the last five years.
Going back to the BEST Grant that covers 50 percent of the district’s $32 million project, one of the requirements for all those funds is participation in an energy-efficiency program. The board unanimously voted to participate in the Collaboration for High Performance Schools (CHPS), which is a high-level energy efficiency program. The district will collect points for each energy-efficient step it takes, collecting points in order to get CHPS certification at the end of the project.
The board unanimously approved a resolution showing support for the Yuma Museum’s effort to secure a state grant to cover 75 percent of renovation project that will cost more than $100.000. Prior to the vote, Chrisman noted a renovated museum could have an educational benefit to the district. Brown also noted that support from the board of education will help the museum board with its grant application.
Approved donations were from: Kathy Murphy and Rick Wittlake, $100 for the lunch program; Gini Adams $145 for the lunch program; Hoch Real Estate, $300 for the lunch program (the lunch program monies are earmarked for students accounts that are in arrears for school lunches and breakfasts, which is a great idea); Yuma Wrestling Club, $300 to YHS wrestling; Schramm Feedlot, $300 for YHS wrestling; Richard Roth Farms, $1,000 for YHS girls basketball; Charles Pfalmer Memorial, $1,000 for athletic contingency, and; $700 from the Colorado Health Department for a Communities That Care speaker that will soon visit YMS and YHS.
Elizabeth Bosham was approved as an ELL para at Morris Elementary, and the resignation of Angel Houtz as a cook was approved.
Several activity trip requests were approved or ratified. Besides YHS sportst trips, others approved were the sixth-graders trip to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science on May 6, a YHS college vist to UNC on March 10, a YHS college visit to Northwest Kansas Technical Collge on March 30, the eighth-grade band to the Denver Performing Arts Center on April 15, and YHS students to a tobacco prevention student conference in Commerce City on February 28.