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Silver Schools Board approves land trade and extends superintendent's contract

By Margaret Hopper

The Silver/Cliff school district met May 16, 2013, at the district office on Swan Street. All board members were present. In the 5 p.m. workshop meeting, Superintendent Lon Streib gave background information on the topics that would be brought up again at the more public session beginning at 6 p.m.

The recent land trade, which gave a small parcel to the school near the tennis courts, required some changes on the part of both the city and the district within a year. The city is to remove a small building and the school district is to get the track redone and some paving, curbing and gravel work.

After further inspection, some questioned property at Sixth Street Elementary, which shows that the school does properly own the land under the playground and that paperwork just needs to be completed to put that to rest, according to Streib.

The tech department work was explained by assistant superintendent in charge of learning services, Trish Martinez. The Aruba wireless hardware is being put in every room of every building over the next three years. This year Jose Barrios will get 150 Chrome books for grades 3-up and Harrison Schmidt will have 250 in those grades. In the next two years other schools will be added to the updates until all have been included. Then there will be upgrades on the three-year cycle yearly to keep students current. Cost of these Chrome books is $250 per student.

The second part of the plan is the Lightspeed filtering system that will control which material is accessible and appropriate for student use, as, according to Martinez, there is a broad spectrum available but not all of it at student level. Streib added that this technology “will do 90 percent of what we want to do.”

The student information system which, is designed to keep parents informed of short notice bus issues and activities in general was also brought up. Streib said if one bus was going to be late, the information could be placed on the website for convenience and parents needed to become familiar with how information is relayed by the school.

Board members adjourned the work session at 5:35 to discuss limited personnel matters in closed session. No decisions were made and the general session began at 6:07. Forest Brown, Silver high school student, was awarded the New Mexico School Board Association scholarship. Assistant Superintendent Gus Benakis said Brown was on the 98-99 percentile of nationally normed tests and a well-liked, respected student. He would be going into civil engineering and his parents, also there, were engineers, too.

Kevin Flamm of the Grant County sheriff’s department came in place of Raul Villanueva who was unable to attend again in May. Flamm spoke of the need to develop the trust and relationships between officers, staff and students for the school safety program being put in place. Streib assured Flamm that the enforcement staff was welcome in the schools and that personnel could start building those relationships.  

Assistant superintendent Candy Milam of finance, federal programs and student accountability gave a PowerPoint presentation outline of the budget considerations she was asking the board to approve later in the meeting. She identified the programs and terms affecting the process, comparing the 2013 figures and the changes coming in 2014. Board members were given a copy of the presentation for their records.

 Board president Trent Petty said the superintendent’s evaluation had been completed and the board thanked Streib for the progress he had made in the past year.

A list of action items was outlined for approval. Among them were:

* The real estate and property exchange agreement with the town of Silver City, which included the agreement that the school would see to the parking lot and paving needed, while the city would remove the building, both within a year’s time;

*Milam’s budget for 2013-2014, which would be sent to Santa Fe;

*The IDEA-B grant application for the 2013-2014 school year, which Martinez said must      be submitted each year;

*Extension of the superintendent’s contract for the next two years;

*The bilingual application for the 2013-2014 year;

*Approval of the financial report and checks written in the amount of $2,335,934.74;

*Receipt of two donations from the Elks Club for language arts and special education in   the amounts of $500 each;

*Budget adjustment requests for K-3 Plus, one in June and another in July, as they fell in different school year requests;

*Approval of the Silver City School District Strategic Plan.

All were approved.

After looking at topics to be placed on the June agenda, the board adjourned again and went back into closed session to discuss limited personnel issues. The adjournment came at 7:10 p.m.

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