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Cobre School Board tables Peru evaluation

By Margaret Hopper

Cobre school board met at the district office on August 12 with all directors present. Board president Toy Sepulveda said that in the 6:00 closed session they had discussed student identifiable information, hiring, naming a school building and Peru’s evaluation, but that no decisions had been made.

The evaluation of out-going interim superintendent George Peru as unfinished business was tabled from the agenda for a workshop meeting with Peru before making the report final. That 5:00 p.m. workshop is scheduled before the regular meeting on August 26.

Under Administration, Superintendent Robert Mendoza recommended that the board approve the NM Council of Governments agreement for the present year of 2013-14. The cost of that membership was stated to be $300, the same as last year. It passed.

The new student handbook for this school year was approved as presented with comment from Fran Kelly that the copy was ‘very thorough.' She found no mistakes in it on quick inspection. The board thanked Frank Ryan’s wife for her personal help with the handbook.

The board also approved the initial budget for transportation. A question arose about the financial section that appeared to be an add-on. Ryan said the program had ‘kicked-out’ the information on that part and they had added it in separately. It was a computer glitch.

Peru assisted Mendoza on the Department of Transportation resolution that asked for funding for some paving and pothole patching. Peru said a total repaving would have cost about $400,000, which they didn’t have, so he had worded it for a patch job at a much lower figure. The resolution must be signed and sent in by tomorrow, August 13.

Mary Stoecker of BM I (Body Mass Index) presented an 11-page report telling how the work had progressed since it began in 2005. The first records of the year 2006 showed a very slight decrease in body weight for the grade 7 and 10 students in recent years, and no decrease for children in grades K and 4.

Her recommendations were that community and school continue to partner, that more children either walk or bike to school and do more activities and exercise, that students should take their noon recess before getting their lunches, as they ate more of a balanced meal if they did that, and that they get out more information and resources for the adult caregivers of the students who needed to lose weight; about 40 percent of school aged children were rated overweight to obese in Cobre schools. Elementary children appeared to have more problems than the teens.

Mendoza reported that the state had allotted $245,340 for pre-kindergarten and that the school was to pay for budgeted items and be reimbursed for those expenses later. School would start for children in grades K through 7th and 9th graders tomorrow, Tuesday, with students in grades 8, 10, 11 and 12 starting on Wednesday.  

Assistant superintendent Jose Carrillo presented the accountability report from the state, which graded each school in the district by a point system. High school appeared to make great improvements over the past, giving it an A grade, but Carrillo noted that because of the recent jump, it would be very difficult to show much improvement next year and that grade might be lost in the near future. San Lorenzo had gained a C grade and Central, a D grade, but Hurley had dropped from a B to a D; Bayard, D, and Snell, C, merely held the grades they had the year before.  

During the public input session, Cheryl Holland of the union (Cobre NEA) offered her apology for misconstruing the policy when she stated that union representatives were to be allowed on all committees as oversight, at the July 29 board meeting. The difference here was administrative and non-administrative committees, she said.

Peru said he received word that there was help for the asbestos removal and the gym roof at Bayard Elementary, which would amount to between $800,000 and $900,000, quite a difference in their construction budget.

 Daena Davis said Governor Martinez would be at Cobre on Wednesday, August 20. The time given was 11:00 to 12:30. (It is also reported that Martinez will be at Harrison Schmidt that same day, starting at 8:30, where she will stress reading and pass out books.) Chris Rodman was welcomed as the new principal of San Lorenzo Elementary. In the past year he was a coach in the system.

According to Frank Cordova, the next Region VIII meeting will be at Reserve on Tuesday, September 24, with the meeting beginning at 5:30 p.m. Cordova said Common Core will be given a major place on the agenda and he suggested that interested people be making plans for that.  

Attendees at the Bayard Elementary open house said that about 50 people were there, a larger number than in past years.

The next agenda, set for August 26, will have the Peru evaluation on it.

The meeting adjourned at 8:15.

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