Budget amended, audit approved, other highlights from the Moffat County School Board meeting
January 28, 2018
CRAIG — The budget was amended and the 2016-17 audit approved, but a decision about school boundaries and selection of a new board member were delayed during the regular meeting of the Moffat County School District Board of Education on Thursday, Jan. 25.
The board had planned to interview and appoint a new member to its ranks. A letter of intent was submitted, but later withdrawn, said Board President Joann Baxter.
"It's a tough situation. We've never had a vacancy for this length of time," Baxter said.
The seat has been vacant since November, when Darrell Camiletti, previous board president and District 6 representative, gave up his seat, deciding not to run for re-election.
After Feb. 12, Baxter may appoint someone to fill the vacancy. A direct appointee would have to meet the same requirements as a person appointed to the board through the interview and selection process.
"Anyone with names, send them my way," Baxter said.
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The situation has also prompted the board to consider a change from geographic representation to members-at-large, though such a change would require voter approval.
A discussion about a ballot measure doing away with districts is on the draft agenda for a retreat, planned for 8 a.m. to noon Tuesday, Feb. 6, in the Cedar Mountain Conference Room at Colorado Northwestern Community College, 2801 W. Ninth St.
After determining they lacked sufficient information to make a decision on new school boundaries, board members requested additional information be presented during the retreat. The delay in making this decision means parents of students enrolled at East Elementary School won't know the school their students are assigned to attend until February.
Other highlights of the board meeting included the following.
• The board passed a resolution amending the 2017-18 budget. The school board learned from District Finance Director John Wall during a work session held prior to the meeting that the district needed to pay unanticipated expenses, including costs of preparing Sandrock Elementary School to accept students from East Elementary, the cost of replacing a a dishwasher at Sunset and shipping costs for Wonders — the early literacy reading resource.
"Changes keep the budget within the school board's required 28 percent reserve and 3 percent reserve required by Tabor," Wall said.
• Members approved the draft audit originally presented in December.
"In our opinion, the financial statements referred to above present fairly, in all material respects, the respective financial position of the governmental activities, each major fund and the aggregate remaining fund information of Moffat County School District RE-1, as of June 30, 2017, and the respective changes in financial position and where applicable, cash flows thereof for the year then ended in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America," reported auditors McMahan and Associates. The auditors made three recommendations for improving internal controls and day-to-day operations.
"The first two are being done already. The last is the one is in progress," Wall said.
• Tom Jones addressed the board during the public comment portion of the meeting, who raised concerns about the appropriateness of props that looked like mugs of beer and said, "Not drunk, just jolly." These props were used by a vendor in the photos taken at the Craig Middle School Winter Dance and photos appearing in the Craig Press story about the dance.
"I don't feel they were appropriate for middle school or even high school," Jones said.
School Principal Dave Grabowski addressed these concerns with the vendor.
"The principal was proactive. We shared our concern," Superintendent David Ulrich said. He added he doesn't expect there to be a similar problem at future events.
• Staff, parents and students of Sunset Elementary School were recognized for receiving a Governor's Distinguished Improvement Award.
"They are a staff of heroes," said Principal Jill Hafey. "They have a passion for our students. … With their passion, attitude and willingness to work side by side with one another, we think we can accomplish anything."
• As part of School Board Appreciation Month, Ulrich and school district staff thanked the volunteer school board for its hard work and dedication with cards and blue-and-white M & Ms.
• During a work session, held prior to the board meeting, a presentation was given describing the processes science teachers are using to co-curate classroom materials.
"We are out of the business of million dollar textbook adoptions. They are not made for Colorado," Ulrich said.
With the help of online learning specialist Sean Nash, the process began in June with the middle school and is now being worked on at the secondary level.
"Teachers have been doing this since the dawn of time," Nash said. "You found resources to make things work for your kids. We are customizing it."
Contact Sasha Nelson at 970-875-1794 or snelson@CraigDailyPress.com.