Y-1 Board deals with preschool policy

Primary/preprimary education tuition slots was an issue dealt with by the Yuma School District-1 Board of Directors during its regular monthly meeting, Monday night at the District Office.

Board president John Deering and fellow board members Terri Cooper, Heath Roundtree and Tyson Brown were in attendance. Lindsey Galles was absent.

The policy for primary/preprimary education came up toward the end of the meeting.

It allows for the district to admit 5-year-olds as tuition students at Yuma Preschool if there are any openings after all of the State of Colorado’s University Preschool slots are filled by 3 and 4 year olds.

Superintendent Dianna Chrisman said it usually is not many, but there are always some families who feel their 5-year-old could have another year of preschool rather than go into kindergarten.

Yuma Preschool has a total of 64 slots, and currently has 56, and Chrisman said enrollment trends seem to be leaning toward staying around that number, so there likely will be a handful of slots available, but 5-year-olds would have to pay a tuition since it is not covered by University Preschool.

She said the district will not know until the first week of August if it has any tuition slots available. The policy dictates the tuition will be determined by August 1. Chrisman said it likely will be between $250 to $300.

Yuma Children’s Academy also provides preschool slots. Chrisman said that, now under Universal Preschool, families list a preference for where they want their child to attend preschool, but the state eventually determines where the youth are placed.

She said she fully supports preschool education for all, but the process can be frustrating and it is now out of local control.

The board passed the policy on a 4-0 vote.

More meeting

• The board unanimously approved going with CEBT for the 2024-25 health insurance plan.

The board had been informed previously that the current provider, CIGNA, was proposing a 21-percent increase. Chrisman said the district utilized a firm to help find other options, and CEBT was the recommended option.

She said CEBT works with a lot of school districts and municipalities, including the City of Yuma.

Its plan increases doctor visit co-pays, but offered many other advantages and a much lower increase — 5 percent in the worst case scenario — compared to this year’s plan. Depending on usage, the district actually could end up spending less on health insurance.

“This is the first time in a long time I felt it was a win-win,” Chrisman said.

• It is time to rehire staff for the 2024-25 school year.

The board unanimously the contracts for the certified staff. Prior to the vote Chrisman said the district is offering just a one-step increase for everyone this year due to current financial unknowns with state funding and enrollment. She said if it all works out well, the district and board can consider offering a bonus retention again in October.

The board also approved the classified staff notice of assignments with a 3-percent raise, which Chrisman said is relatively close to a one-step increase for certified staff.

• A proclamation making May 6-10 as Staff Appreciation Week was approved. There are numerous appreciation weeks for various school district employee groups, so Yuma-1 combines them in all into one week.

• Board of Education meeting dates for 2024-25, which begins July 1, were approved. There will not be a meeting in July. The December meeting currently is undetermined due to when mill levies are certified.

Consent Calendar

Numerous businesses made donations for the YHS “Everyone is Someone” Field Day: $50 from Hoch Real Estate LLC, $100 from Quality Irrigation, $50 from Korf Continental, $40 from JD’s Barn, $100 from Bank of Colorado, $250 from TBK Bank, $100 from CarQuest of Yuma, $150 in Yeti cups, water bottles, Yeti lunch bag, and frisbees from ACE Hardware, $100 in Bracelets from Jay Flaming Jeweleers, $25 in cups from Daylight Donuts, and $50 in plates and napkins from State Farm Insurance.

Other donations were: $5,022.74 from Yuma Booster Club for a YHS baseball pitching machine, $300 from Colorado FFA Foundation for Yuma FFA, $475 from Central Plains Equipment for the football club, $40 from Gerland and Delaina Klein for the YHS Mock Trial, $500 from Rehm Crop Services for YHS FFA, $200 from Noah Roberts for YHS FFA, and $500 from Quality Irrigation for FFA Labor Auction.

The recommended hiring of Maria Thacker as eighth-grade English teacher/long term sub was approved, as well as the separations/resignations of Brandon Newton as YHS vocational instructor, and Crystal Schwartz as third-grade teacher. The resolution for contract renewal for a probationary teacher also was part of the Consent Calendar.

Then there are the activity trip requests: YHS girls wrestling to a camp in Gunnison, June 13-20, YHS FFA to officer retreat June 29-29 at a site to be determined, YHS boys wrestling to a camp in Gunnison, June 13-20, YHS boys basketball toa camp in Denver June 13-15, and YHS football to a camp in Pueblo July 14-16.