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Mancos School District will see insurance rate hike

Increase is lower than previously expected

After an insurance quote led Mancos School District officials to anticipate a 28 percent rate increase for 2017, administrators were able to get that down to a 9 percent increase, Superintendent Brian Hanson said Tuesday.

“It’s less of an increase because we upped it a month early,” Hanson said.

Administrators had only budgeted for a 4 percent increase, so they will have to find the extra 5 percent somewhere else in the district budget, Hanson wrote in a report to school board members. The plan is the same health policy the district had in 2016, through Rocky Mountain Health.

Hanson recommended to the board that the district bear the total cost of the increase rather than pass that on to employees. Board members approved enrolling in the health plan at their meeting Monday.

At the school board meeting Monday, board members had some preliminary discussion on the staff sick leave policy, Hanson said. The board may consider cleaning up some of the language in the policy so that it is not vague, but they likely would not take a vote on that until December or January.

Hanson and other administrators will be working with grant writer Clara Martinez and architect Dennis Humphries this week to finalize the district’s Building Excellent Schools Today (BEST) grant application. The district plans updates and improvements to the school campus, and will pursue the BEST grant, as well as a bond issue and several other grants to fund the effort next year.

The State Board of Education will hear the district’s application at their meeting Dec. 14.

The Colorado Department of Education found no violations of state statutes in the Mancos School District Audit, according to a CDE report. The audit was conducted by Cortez-based firm Majors and Haley over the past few months.

High School principal Adam Priestley reported to the board that seven students went on a college tour from Nov. 10-12. They visited Delta-Montrose Technical College, Colorado Mesa University, Colorado Mountain College, Colorado State University, University of Northern Colorado and Aims Community College.

Priestley reported that the visit went well and all the students had different perspectives about continuing their education past high school after visiting the schools.

Also at Monday’s meeting, board members approved the following items:

Keith Cliver was hired as Mancos Early Learning Center paraprofessional,Robert Jacoby was appointed junior class sponsor,Sarah Whitehurst was appointed as Middle School Student Council Sponsor,Chris Medina was hired as part-time Assistant Middle School Football Coach, andTravis White was hired as head coach for the high school wrestling team.