Gilpin Schools wrap up a most unusual year

June 1st School Board Meeting

By Curt Halsted

School Board President Steve Boulter started the meeting by sharing care and concern for School Board Member Joe Marr who was with family after his son Mike and two grandchildren were in a serious accident in Wyoming. The grandkids have recovered from minor injuries, while his son Mike is improving, but still has a long road to recovery. The board celebrated activities still wrapping up after school ended. Boulter reported Track & Field and Baseball teams were about to end their season, He stated that more kids went out for baseball than in past years and commended new Coach Joe Wuchter and Coach Shoe for doing a good job. Also the Gilpin County Theater Dept. managed to get a less elaborate performance accomplished titled “Quaren-Teens, A Dramatic Teen Perspective on the Pandemic” on May 28th and 29th. Dr. Dave (Superintendent MacKenzie) said it was a good year all things considered as Boulter agreed, considering the amount of things that staff and students as well as Dr. Dave had to juggle all year was literally amazing.

Policies Approved, Discussion – Broadcasting Future Meetings

The board passed two policies on their second reading. First was Policy IKF2 regarding changes to the High School and Middle School schedule and graduation requirements. Second was Policy ACE3 which addresses the rights of trans and gender non-conforming students. The board discussed whether to continue broadcasting the meetings after the pandemic. Boulter commented that it has improved attendance and that the school has the equipment. Dr. Dave said they can make a better decision near the end of the summer as conditions for the meetings evolve.

District Accountability Committee Report

The District Accountability Committee (DAC) is made up of community members, school staff and administration to provide recommendations to principals on how to increase community engagement and important programs dealing with instruction mandated by the Colorado Department of Education. Due to the pandemic the committee met on an abbreviated schedule this year. Highlights for DAC in 20/21 involved reviewing policy KB Parent Involvement in Education, critiquing school safety and pandemic protocols, as well as offering ideas for calendar changes. DAC member Crystal Zielbeck proposed that the board move the start of school back one week with commencement on June 2nd. The board reviewed the pros and cons and decided that since many families had already planned their summers and in light of all the last minute changes last year due to the pandemic, that it was not a good idea for this year. Dr. Dave commended DAC Chairperson Julie Hanssen for her dedication to the committee over the past eight years.

Pandemic Report

In May, 83% of the students were being taught in-person, and on average one sick student was sent home a day as a precautionary measure. Dr. Dave was happy to report that the school year was completed with no whole school quarantines, although there were a handful of small group quarantines that were also precautionary.

Public Forum for Budget Review before Next Board Meeting

Dr. Dave reported that school safety projects and the backup power generator project are slated to be finished this summer. The last Gilpin County School Board meeting for the 20/21 school year is currently scheduled for Tuesday, June 15th, with the forum taking place at 6:30 pm and the meeting at 7 pm.

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