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Mancos school board discusses legislation, year-end events

CASB legislation was one of the heavily discussed topics at the Monday night board meeting. (Screen Capture via Zoom)
District celebrates new $40,000 starting salary for teachers

The Mancos RE-6 Board of Education on Monday discussed upcoming legislation, the end of the school year and potentially adding an official school resource officer.

Superintendent Todd Cordrey informed the board that the district accountability committee has started to recruit for the new school year, and information will be available at the August board meeting, which will kick-start the 2024-2025 school year.

Victor Figueroa provided an update about upcoming and tabled legislation that the Colorado Association of School Boards is watching. One such legislation would take effect in the 2025-2026 school year and be phased in fully over six years. According to Figueroa, the legislation aims to make financing districts more equitable and fair.

Although some districts will get more funding than others, the legislation will consider the number of a district’s special-needs and high-risk students, and its rural status.

Because the legislation is new, its impact is still unclear, Figueroa said.

One bill that “died on the calendar” but could return addresses equal access to public meetings. While school districts are required by law to allow public viewing of meetings, this law could add new requirements.

Rachel McWhirter spoke of the recent BOCES meeting, saying that the Montezuma-Cortez school district will begin its mediation with BOCES in June after being denied their request to become their own administrative unit.

Even though the Montezuma-Cortez RE-1 district has lost a bid to become its own AU, McWhirter said the district could renew its effort to leave BOCES in the new school year in August.

In his superintendent report, Cordrey told the board that students have been attending and participating in a plethora of activities and field trips before summer begins.

On Thursday from 11 a.m. to 1:15 p.m., the district will host a barbecue for student families and members of the community at a cost of $4.75 per person.

Cordrey also shared that students from outside the district have fewer Individualized Education Programs than students within the district. Five years ago, 13.1% of students had an IEP; this year, that number is at 14.2%.

The board also mentioned the possibility of hiring an official school resource officer, adding that there will be a town hall meeting at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday in the school cafeteria to discuss it.

The district sent out parent surveys, but has received just 46 responses as of Monday. Board President Emily Hutchison-Brown urged parents to fill out the survey, which helps the board and district make the best decisions for students and families.

The surveys are due by Tuesday night.

Hutchison-Brown also shared with the board that state hall of fame Mancos teacher Janey Silver died Sunday. Silver was known for her accomplishments and impact as a teacher and band leader for the district since her first year in 1967. The board acknowledged the Mancos seniors who graduated Sunday, saying they were proud of the students and excited to see where they would go next.

Teacher salaries are now at $40,000 for starting pay, something that the board celebrated before heading to action items and concluding their meeting.

The next Mancos board meeting is June 17 at 6 p.m.