The August 13 Cobre School Board meeting opened the public session at 7:10. Board president Frank Cordova said they had discussed limited personnel, new hirings and the salary schedule in the closed portion. No decisions had been made.
Mary Stoecker of Fitness and Nutrition - Community presented a lengthy report on recent findings for Body Mass Index. She said the spring letter with screening information went out to parents at the same time as report cards, greatly reducing the time and expense of a separate mailing. Parents received information on their children in grades K, 4, 7 and 10, but aside from school nurses, no one, including program personnel, knew any facts about any child, as they were reported as numbers and remained anonymous.
Stoecker pointed out the close connection of fitness to academic achievement, with test scores, concentration and other positive factors rising as fitness statistics rose. She noted that a serious trend was that of diabetes, with children now at risk for Type II, or adult diabetes, which was much more serious in children, and it was increasing. A few decades back, no children had Type II. And children can’t control it with exercise and diet. “They will be on medication for life,” she said.
Locally, 53 percent of the school children had been identified as overweight and obese a few years back. Presently that seemed to be down to 40 percent, still a serious number, but showing improvement. Board member Sepulveda asked if the increase in pre-packaged foods contributed to the problem. He remembered having more site-made foods at the school in years past.
One innovation the program hoped to promote was Recess Before Lunch, a scheduling change of sending grade school kids to recess before they ate, not after. Expected benefits include less rushing through lunch to get outside as the exercise and time delay should see children hungrier and wasting less food This better nutrition should result in alertness in the classroom plus many similar benefits.
Last year’s student representative to the board, Corina Castillo, was formally presented with her $1000 scholarship from the state’s Region VIII board district. Corina is going to college in Phoenix, AZ and was present with her mother to receive it.
Assistant Superintendent Jose Carrillo reported that all 78 juniors had taken the competency exams. 62 had passed them, the other 16 would be given tutoring in reading and math before retaking the tests in the spring.
Chris Salcido had asked for the use of facilities for league work at a former meeting and had now sent the board his letter of request. Interim Superintendent George Peru recommended that the board approve that request, and that it also approve the facilities use by the Mimbres Harvest Festival Committee. The board approved both unanimously.
Peru said the old erosion problem on Jones Street was now being addressed. A damaged area was being compacted and cement would be added to make bus transportation safer.
This might be a bid situation and requests have been made to learn if bids were let, as well as the names of bidding firms and the amounts submitted. At present, contact has not been made with the proper school person and no answers are ready. No information appears to have been passed by the board on this issue to date.
Another water issue was the northeast corner at Central Elementary in Santa Clara. The plan for that was to let water collect in a ten-by-ten foot spot where water drained and put a sump pump there. Excess water would be piped to water the grass as needed and they could improve the lawn at the same time. Student and staff safety issues would be considered in the plan.
Peru said the school had received a donation of used chairs for San Lorenzo Elementary School from the Wilderness Ranger District. About 20 chairs that had a moveable part to form a desk were a welcome item and the district appreciated the gift.
In the past few days, the district had hired new teachers, some of them from Spain. Peru named Ernesto Garcia, Ester Monje and Ray Gonzalez as Spanish language teachers, the first two at high school and Gonzalez split between Snell and high school. Pablo Jaime was a science teacher, offering biology and chemistry.
Bernadette Gonzalez is a speech diagnostician and language pathologist. Sandy Wilson will fill the administrative assistant position at Snell, and Gary Cook was named as administrative assistant of operations.
At Bayard Elementary, Joyce Barela would be principal. Cheryl Montes will teach 2nd grade, Serina Murillo, 4th, and Ashley Hoover, 5th. Trini Tolar is returning to teach 4th grade at Central, and Maria Rivera, 5th grade at Hurley.
On August 27 a Title IX workshop is planned for all coaches, as the regulations have changed considerably, said Peru. High School Principal Johnny Benavidez said teachers have passed evaluations and the certificate of accreditation from the North Central Association “will hang in the library.” According to Benavidez, the next due date for similar evaluation and accreditation will come on June 17, 2017.
The meeting adjourned at 8:00 p.m. The next board meeting is scheduled for August 27 at the District Office.