School board approves preliminary budget for 2019-20

Principals highlight May accomplishments

by Patty Unruh

The Gilpin County Board of Education met on Tuesday, May 21, at 7:00 p.m.Board members present were Craig Holmes, Brook Ramsey, Sarah Swanson, and Steve Boulter. Kersten Armstrong was absent. Superintendent David MacKenzie, Secondary Principal Alexis Donaldson, Elementary Principal Heather Huntoon, and Secretary to the Board Joni Schmidt were also present.

Congratulations and Celebrations

The Class of 2019 graduation ceremony was held on Saturday, May 18. The graduates received $244,700 in scholarships.

Stephen King represented Gilpin at the state track meet and won second place in the 300-meter hurdles. Boulter noted that the new track helped the middle and high teams make great gains. The middle school team had a great season and broke many records, with the eighth-grade girls winning the Frontier League. Fifth and sixth graders were first in the junior league.

April and May Artists

Art teacher Curt Halsted introduced April artist Ashyr Trumble. The fourth grader created an original dot painting of an Australian kangaroo. The project was integrated with history lessons on explorer James Cook and on the Aborigines.

First grader Otto Holland was honored for his painting of a black bear. The painting was also part of integrated studies in language arts and music. The elementary students had written poetry and created corresponding art, and the poetry was set to music for the spring arts program.

Secondary Student Presentation

Seventh-grade students from Sam Wardell’s language arts class presented videos that they had produced on “The Keys to Success.” Linda Icenogle and Anna Thomason said the video project was an alternative to writing papers and giving speeches.

“We created the videos with guidelines on music and speech,” Anna said. “The technology helps us, because it is simpler and easier for students who find it difficult to give speeches.”

“We had to make sure we had enough words in our script and time the length,” Linda said.

The students were able to use Wii video, which the girls said gave them creative freedom.

Secondary Principal’s Report

Donaldson especially thanked the Booster Club for the countless hours they put in during the final month of school.

The high school baseball team hosted and won their first playoff game and put up a great fight against Dawson in the second round of playoffs but didn’t win. The middle school baseball team wrapped up its season last week with a win against Clear Creek.

Sam Wardell organized a trip for students to see “The Diary of Ann Frank” at the Arvada Center.

Preparations are under way for the staff summer institute in Evergreen June 3-4.

Students, staff, and parents will volunteer for the Dirty 30 foot race in June for the benefit of the athletic department.

Final exams are May 28-30.

Elementary Principal’s Report

The week of May 6 was staff appreciation week, with treats and a Gilpin travel blanket provided by the District and the PTA.

The spring art show and music performance went well.

The trout release will be May 28 at Mayhem Gulch Juniper Loop Trailhead.

Safety Day is May 29; School Resource Officer Lee Ramsey organized the event.

End of year STAR testing benchmark results showed that 80 percent of K-5th students are at or above grade level in reading. In math, 83 percent of 1st-5th students are at or above grade level.

Ten teachers will participate in the Science and Social Studies workshop at Gilpin June 5-6, when they will work on creating units that are standards aligned.

Ms. Ary will attend an intense Montessori training program this summer to prepare for the position of Montessori Primary teacher in Gilpin’s Choice Montessori Program.

Budget Items

The Board approved check vouchers for May and the preliminary June budget for 2019-20 and the revised adopted budget for 2018-19.

General fund revenue for the preliminary June budget for 2019-20 is shown as $6,035,781; expenses are shown as $6,410,781. Food service revenue is $173,300; expenses are $281,506, with a transfer from the general fund of $108,206. Grant fund revenue and expenses are $111,332. Capital projects revenue is $125,000; expenses are $644,072, including bus lease, property improvements, vehicle capital outlays, and wastewater treatment plant renovations. A transfer of $519,072 is shown.

General fund revenue for the revised adopted budget for 2018-19 is $5,314,995; expenses are $6,264,995. Food service revenue is $173,300; expenses are $275,310, with a transfer from the general fund of $102,010. Grant fund revenue and expenses are $111,332. Capital projects fund has a beginning fund balance of $499,490; expenses are $1,114,541. A transfer of $1,114,541 is shown.

General fund revenue for April is $261,543; expenses are $457,196. Food service revenue is $3,686; expenses are $18,381. Grant Fund revenue and expenses are $5,838. Capital projects expenses are $2,283, with a transfer from the general fund in that amount.

Business Manager Terry Scharg explained some significant changes to the June budget. General fund revenue increases totaled $421,007, including a state increase in kindergarten funding of $122,000; a reduction in the negative factor for a revenue increase of $122,827; and a SAFER grant for security equipment of $176,180. Scharg said the state plans to distribute 80 percent of the funding for full-day kindergarten in July and the balance in December.

General fund expenses totaled $226,171, including a District match of $58,727 for the SAFER grant; Montessori start-up classroom supplies of $5,000; track supplies of $11,000; potential election expenses of $5,000; Montessori training for the elementary principal of $6,950; and staff salary increases of $139,494.

In capital projects, $125,000 has been budgeted for replacement of a 20-year-old bus. $350,000 has been budgeted for bleachers for the football field, and $100,000 for wastewater treatment plant renovations. General fund reserves/fund balance will be reduced by $375,000.

Board member Swanson inquired about budgeting for soccer, and MacKenzie replied that he is waiting for an estimate of expenses from the Athletic Director. A supplement to the budget will be prepared at that time.

Employee Insurance Benefits

The Board approved adopting the monthly limit of $679 per employee for all Board paid employee insurance benefits and allocating $62.02 monthly within the $679 limit to be the employee’s choice to either designate the monthly $62.02 to the Cigna 1 health insurance plan or other insurance plans provided by the District for the 2019-20 school year or designate the monthly $62.02 to be paid as salary for the 2019-20 school year.

Superintendent’s Report

MacKenzie praised art and music teachers Curt Halsted and Randi Ebers, saying the spring arts programs were the best he had seen in six years and were a good example of teacher collaboration and cross-curricular delivery. He also appreciated Wardell’s work with his students in producing the “Keys to Success” videos.

MacKenzie expected the report to be in any day on the wastewater treatment plant project, which will include options to repair the plant so that it works better. The Board will have until June 30 to make its recommendations.

Contractors were out last week to re-measure for the atrium stairs project. The stairs will be built offsite and trucked in, and the project is estimated to be done around mid-June.

The District is ready to move forward on the school security disbursement grant and the vestibule project. MacKenzie has applied for a permit and believes the project will be done in the next 1 to 1-1/2 years.

Paper cards will no longer be used to communicate parents’ emergency contact information. Instead, parents will be asked to go into their portal on Infinite Campus on the school’s website and enter emergency contact information electronically. MacKenzie will send a dedicated email to parents with a link to a video on how to do this. The link will also be embedded on the school’s website. All registration will be done online for ongoing students.

Back-to-School Night in August will incorporate some changes, with secondary students coming in the afternoon to finish their electronic registration.

A lockout was done on May 20. The Gilpin County Sheriff’s Office responded within one minute, as did the school.

“We are always on lockout from 8:00 to 4:00,” MacKenzie said, “but yesterday’s lockout was done to heighten awareness. It lasted about ten minutes and showed that the system worked as it was supposed to. We debriefed afterward with the crisis response team.”

Colorado district superintendents will meet over the summer with safety personnel from the state. MacKenzie will report to the Board on the implications for Gilpin.

Next Meeting

The Board eliminated its June 4 meeting, as there won’t be enough members for a quorum. It will convene again at its scheduled June 18 meeting. A public forum/proposed 2019-20 budget work session will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the school boardroom. The regular meeting is at 7:00 p.m.

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