Cobre school board met at the District Office on Monday, September 09, 2013. Chairman Toy Sepulveda called the meeting to order at 7:25 p.m. Sepulveda said the board met earlier at 5:00 to finalize the evaluation of George Peru, past interim superintendent. That session ended after 6:00 and the closed meeting began at 6:27 where board members discussed limited personnel matters and student identifiable information.

In the public meeting, Sepulveda and others thanked Peru for his time and efforts as interim superintendent.

Under use of facilities, M. Trujillo of Community Action Agency of Southern New Mexico requested the use of the High School Cafeteria on Saturday, September 28. The board approved the request.

April Lee and Frank Quarrell presented information to the board about the Walking School Bus, a program under the Southwest New Mexico Council of Governments umbrella. Lee is the transportation planner for the project. Lee asked the school to act as the fiscal agent for $3000 of funds, which she said would be spent entirely before the year was out. The first $1500 would go to the coordinator, $750 to the liaison, a person already chosen, and the remaining $750 to volunteers working with the program.

The Walking School Bus was expected to start in October and run for a minimum of four weeks. Several students had asked to be a part of the project, but there was a need for more adults. This was to be a pilot project for the mining district. Superintendent Mendoza noted that there was a need for crossing guards and other people who were not yet in place. Lee said she would be available for consultation.

A third request was that the superintendent begin the process of developing a ROTC (Reserve Officer Training Corps) Program planned to begin the 2014-2015 school year. Discussion centered around what the program would do for students. Various members cited evidence that those in the ROTC program developed more character, with some students turning their lives around.

Further information said that the Army would run its own program and that the request included a room for instruction and another room for student equipment, as there could be a lot of it. The request led to a motion, which board members passed.

Under the superintendent’s report, three speakers presented information on Systems of Care, a program affiliated with CYFD for assisting youths mainly in the 12- to 19-years-of-age group, who needed help with emotional disturbances and behavioral health issues. Rebecca Estrada is the group’s outreach and technical manager. Desirre Hayes is the family coordinator for Grant County and Josiah Reyes is a youth coordinator.

Reyes said most of those being helped are in the 13-15 age group, but they can work with younger children if they are mature enough to work with the program, and if they need the services. Some of the events are youth group sessions each Friday night. Music has a place; drums, guitar and other instruments are a part of the program. On the informational side, training topics may include help with finances, issues with dating, and how to handle bullying of various kinds. Boundary training and peer partnerships are also explored. Reyes said the program is federally funded and the groups do take trips at times. Some meetings are held in Silver and another session is held in Santa Clara. There is some training for the public, also, such as school staff, board members and other adults.

Where transportation is required, Systems of Care has made arrangements with Corre Caminos. There is a relationship with Border Area Mental Health Services, which is also in transition from its former role. Rebecca Estrada, site manager, said she would be available for additional information.

Frank Ryan, school financial officer, said auditing from the state would be taking place shortly at Cobre. One auditor has already been to Cobre for setting up the informational needs, and, by September 18, three auditors will be on site for an expected three-day period. Superintendent Mendoza said a local audit committee would be meeting shortly to learn their parts with both the entry and exit work. That committee consists of Frances Kelly, chairman, and Cobre board member, Robert Montoya, an additional board member, and Kristy Ortiz, a parent/community member and city clerk.

Four student groups asked for permission to do fundraisers. The Snell Middle School Cheerleaders wanted to raise funds through a concession stand; Cobre Cross Country asked to sell candy bars to get money for equipment and gear they needed. Grade 8 wanted to raise funds for its annual field trip, selling cookie dough. The last group wanted to buy practice T-shirts with its project. The board approved the requests.

Wednesday, September 11, will be an early dismissal day for staff development, and on Wednesday, September 18, students will have a day off while teachers hold conferences.

Mendoza asked that some budget adjustments be discussed at the next board meeting, scheduled for September 23, to replace two vehicles for the district’s cafeteria service. He said that two utility cargo vans, three-quarter tons, were needed immediately, as the present vehicles were not serviceable.

Live from Silver City

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