By Margaret Hopper
The Cobre school board opened the public session a little after 7:15 in the District Office on August 11. All five board members were there; Frances Kelly, Frank Gomez, Robert Montoya, Frank Cordova and board president Toy Sepulveda. Kelly and Cordova were at the 5:00 p.m. tour held earlier of the renovated Bayard Elementary building. Kelly's comment was that the building looked great.
The board met in executive session at 6:00 where Sepulveda said they had discussed student identifiable information, limited personnel issues, financial report information, food cafeteria changes and goals for the superintendent. He said no decisions had been made.
At the beginning of the meeting, Superintendent Robert Mendoza introduced the new San Lorenzo principal, Michael Koury. Koury asked the board members to visit the school at an early opportunity. Sepulveda, who lives nearby, said that would be easy for him as he takes his grandson to school there, daily.
For the only unfinished business, Mendoza asked the board to approve a budget adjustment, which would place $31,671 in the fresh fruit program for elementary schools in the district. The board did that, and also approved both the open meeting resolution for the new school year, and a legal notice for the board's 2014-2015 meetings.
Brandy and Karl Warhank of Dig It Youth Volleyball were present to ask for the use of both high school facilities and those of Hurley Elementary in the new season, which will start in September. The Warhanks said last year they worked with 105 children between the ages of five and twelve, in grades K through 6. The program was ten weeks long and eight Sunday games would be scheduled. The Kiwanis Cooperation League was a major sponsor; children would get T-shirts and training through the game schedule. The board approved their requests.
In the Superintendent's Report, assistant superintendent Jose Carrillo and elementary principals Joyce Barela and Daena Davis reported on the July session of K-3 Plus work.
Attendance was about 50 percent of the district's students in those grades. These children needed a boost in major subjects such as reading and arithmetic. Weekly attendance was rewarded on Fridays if there were no absences in the five-day period. Davis noted that some who had many absences during the past school year had much better attendance records for the July term.
Sepulveda asked about final results. The K-3 Plus team said they believed the intervention was successful and that students were making progress over those who did not attend the session. They would be watching the next test scores and reporting the findings back to the board. While not all children reached proficiency status, they were sure that they had improved.
Overall enrollment for the July program had increased 28 percent this year over last, said Carrillo, and revenues for the program this year were $237,946.50 in contrast to last year's revenues of $176,185.50.
Other additions to the superintendent's report included the first day, which would be August 12 for grades 1 through 7 and grade 9; for grades 8, 10, 11 and 12, their first day would be August 13. Kindergarten and pre-kindergarten would begin on August 18.
The other item on the superintendent's report concerned Chuck Gearhart's request for a fundraiser for the band's expenses. The plan was to sell discount cards. There was some discussion of this, as the football team had the same request earlier. The board considered that the music group should not duplicate the same sponsors that the football fundraisers had used. Mendoza said he would check this out and get back with them.
Mendoza said the newly chosen student representative would be attending board meetings soon. According to the newly approved schedule of board meetings, the first meeting away from the District Office will be the September 8 meeting, which will be held at the high school. The elementary schools and the middle school will also be visited on the first meeting date of following months until all have been visited.
The meeting was adjourned at a little after 7:40. The next meeting, August 25, will be at the District Office. The open session is scheduled to begin at 7:00 p.m., as usual.