By Lynn Janes

The Silver City Consolidated Schools held a work session May 9, 2022. President Ashley Montenegro called the meeting to order. Other board members in attendance included Michelle Diaz, Patrick Cohn, Eddie Flores and Mike McMillan. Superintendent William Hawkins also attended.

The board approved the work session agenda.

Michelle McCain, finance director presented to the board highlights for the upcoming 2022-2023 school year budget. Members had received a copy of the budget to review.

McCain explained the TCI index and multiplying program units. The program units are based on 80-120 day student counts for 2021-2022 and then multiplied by the cost index. Special education has a separate multiplier as does fine arts training. She pointed out that the district receives more for national board-certified teachers.

The at-risk index hit the district negatively. She explained it comes from the census and at risk is figured by income, English proficiency, and mobility. Many people are not comfortable giving the government information. Last year’s index had been 2.06 and now it decreased to 1.85. This translated in a loss of a couple hundred thousand dollars in the budget.

In November the state sent out a questionnaire for the district to project if the student population will grow, stay the same or decrease at every level. Silver Schools used a very conservative approach and stated a ten percent growth. However, McCain explained that if that growth didn’t happen the funds would have to be returned. The funds received for the growth would be approximately $653,000. The district does receive funds for home schooled kids, but that number is probably more than is known.

McCain said the district is required to keep four percent cash reserves based on the full budget. That amount is approximately $1.1 million.

Some of the new budget requirements affecting the district have to do with the required minimum $15 an hour wage. A budget will not be approved by the state unless that requirement is met.

The medical insurance increased six percent. She wanted to make it clear that did not mean salary six percent, but the insurance cost is increased by the six percent. She also pointed out that the district must match that increase.

The risk insurance increased considerably. This insurance also covers property and workmen’s compensation. The cost went from $901,000 last year to $951,880 and is due July 31, 2022.

McCain went through the budgeted numbers for salaries, substitutes (teachers, nurses, janitorial, etc.). She pointed out that 26.8 percent of every dollar in salary must be paid out to the retirement fund.

McCain said the Class A and B (increment schedule for coaches) increased by ten percent. The upcoming budgeted amount will be $480,272.

Student travel increased to $230,620 from last year due to increases in gas, food, and lodging.

She went through a few others that increased. Professional development $24,400, contract related services $148,411, supplies and materials $213,527. Board travel for training used to be $30 per diem per day and has increased to $55.

Other items on the budget include textbooks, background checks, and day-to-day expenses.

McCain said there are other funding sources, but many times that money can only be used for what it is intended for. The example given had to do with the $1.2 million for air quality.

McCain said other funding that has been a blessing is HB33 and SB9. She explained it keeps the lights on and computers running. It all must be used for maintenance and technical and cannot be used for salaries.

At this point Montenegro interjected that she wanted to make it very clear that the district is not funded well, it is managed well.

Hawkins thanked McCain for all her hard work on this and he knew she had spent many weekends to get this put together.

Work session adjourned.

Regular meeting

The Silver City Consolidated Schools held the board meeting May 9, 2022. President Ashley Montenegro called the meeting to order. Other board members in attendance included Michelle Diaz, Patrick Cohn, Eddie Flores, Mike McMillan. Superintendent William Hawkins also attended. The pledge of allegiance and salute to New Mexico flag took place.

The board approved the minutes from the work session and board meeting March 21, 2022.

The board approved the agenda for the meeting.

Information and presentations

Dottie Pfeifer from Kiwanis presented the students of the month awards. Each student is given a certificate, bumper sticker, and gift certificate. These students represented both April and May recipients. Jordan McCain, Silver High School, works as an office aide and she’s punctual, dependable, and has a good work ethic. She has a 3.7 GPA and plays on the basketball team. Cody Lewis, Cliff Schools, is driven and compassionate. He participates in 4-H and track and will be attending Olympian school in Las Cruces. Avery Beck, Silver High School, exhibits great sportsmanship. He had been asked to apply for a scholarship and declined saying there were probably students out there with more need than him. Malaki Tanuvasa, La Plata Middle School, is said to be a hard-working student that stands up for other students being bullied and an all-around wonderful student. Chris Medina, La Plata Middle School, is described as being very deserving and always ready to help.

Jeanette Medran, nurse director, presented the district’s nurses with recognition for national nurses week. The nurses recognized included, Zacilah Eden – Stout Elementary, Abby Lane Crumbley – Silver Scholars Academy, Jill Colleen Eastep – Harrison Schmitt Elementary, Karen Elizabeth Hurst – Silver High School, Starrann Clarise Moon – Cliff High School, Amy Souders Potts – Jose Barrios Elementary, Katrina Janel May Schottmuller – La Plata Middle School, and Brenda Ann Woods – Sixth Street Elementary.

Hawkins wanted to also recognize the nurses for taking care of not only the kids but the teachers and staff. He said this last year they went above and beyond and thanked them.

Victor Oaxaca, transportation director gave a run down on the inflation of materials and gas. He also reported to them how hard it has been to get parts. They end up taking a lot longer to get or are backordered. He went through each item.

Hawkins gave the board an update on all the calendars for the upcoming school year. The choice that had been most voted for increased the Thanksgiving and fall break to a full week. It also reflects two professional days one on Martin Luther King Day and the other Presidents Day. There will also be training on January 5 and 6. He said Cliff will still be on a four-day week and the Silver Scholars have a few differences.

Hawkins said the statewide stats for graduation falls at 78.6 percent, Silver High falls at 92 percent and Cliff 90.5 percent.

Hawkins said the Studor strategic plan had passed phase one and all information had been gathered, broken down and analyzed. He had given the board a packet with the information. He said eventually they would officially adopt the four elements with the board approval. The four main themes of the plan are: prepare students to fully advance in their education, empower the employees, involve parents, families, and guardians, and build community partnerships. Montenegro said: “We need to keep this in our budget, so it’s maintained every year and not just every five years.”

Louis Alvarez, Associate Superintendent, said the district is 98 percent staffed currently. They have seven vacancies right now but because of the end of the school year he’s not concerned.

Cindy Barris, Associate Superintendent, gave the board a large packet of information for them to review. She said there is a smaller number of virtual education students and most returned are in K-5 and they had picked up three students.

Barris had been involved in the budget process and title 1, 2, and 4. She said they had been done and submitted last week. The fine arts do not have a budget yet but it will be worked on. She explained the education plan briefly and listed seven sections, at risk, ELTP (extended learning time) and 5K plus, beginning teacher mentorship, performance targets, special education, federal and local revenue, and family income index.

Hawkins thanked Barris and McCain for all their hard work on the budget and knew they had spent countless hours on it.

Montenegro gave a board of education report. She said they meet the Thursday before the board meeting and the public is welcome. The last meeting, they reviewed the salary increment schedule. Salaries fall at 78.2 percent of the budget. Class A and B also saw an increase. McMillan commented on being grateful for the bump up on increments in salaries.

The threat assessment committee report came from Flores. He said they had a meeting last week and all the training had been completed by students and staff for ALICE (active shooter response training). Flores said over the summer he wanted to refocus their efforts. There have been some past issues where threat assessment should have been called and had not been. There has been an increase in bullying, and he has not seen follow-up. Threat assessment should be consulted “to cover ourselves.” Some of the principals have said they don’t need it and can handle it themselves. Alvarez said protocols need to be set up for the principals.

Diaz pointed out that traditionally conflict resolution is mostly between the school and parents. The kids need to be brought into it and be part of it.

Hawkins wanted to let the board know that principals spend a lot of time investigating and students are brought together to mediate the problem. He said they are following guidelines but there is always room for improvement. He said he would look forward to protocols from Flores and Alvarez.

Cohn said he agreed with Diaz and Hawkins.

Board comments

Montenegro said the schools are back to being as normal as possible. She said it had been a pleasant school year and she’s happy to be part of it. “I am excited about the strategic plan.” She congratulated the graduates and their families. She wanted everyone to enjoy all the events in the upcoming week and wished everyone well.

Diaz congratulated all the graduates and all the ones that also got college credits during high school. She thanked the culinary team and said not a lot of people know how much catering they are doing and doing a great job. They are very professional, and Mrs. Flores has done a great job with them. She congratulated the people in summer athletics and is glad to see the increment increase in raises for the coaches.

Cohn congratulated the students and families on graduation. He thanked the teachers and staff for all their hard work. “I am thrilled to serve on the board and with you all.”

McMillan said the year has flown by. Senior week happens next week along with graduation. He apologized he would not make the Cliff graduation because his niece graduates the same day in Deming. He thanked all the teachers and staff.

Flores agreed with all the previous boards comments. He wanted to thank Barris for all she has done. He said most people don’t know that before she came things didn’t happen as efficiently as they do now. “She comes through and has done a wonderful job.” He commented on how important the culinary team has become.

Public comment none currently.

The board approved checks written for April in the amount of $3,061,446.97

The board approved donations for Silver High School national history day totaling $11,500. They came from Beck Family Dental $2,500, Cassie Health Center $500, Sierra Valley LLC $500, Silver City Dental $500, Southwest Adolescent Group $500, and Town of Silver City $7,000. Flores and McMillan thanked all the donors.

Hawkins wanted to thank everyone who had donated throughout the year. He said last time he forgot the thank WNMU, Dr. Shepard for the $2,000 donation to FCCLA (Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America) to help with travel to San Diego for competition.

The board approved all the calendars, schedules, and budget for the upcoming fiscal year. They included 2022-2023 budget, 2022-2023 salary schedules, 2022-2023 increment schedules, 2022-2023 Cliff and Silver calendars, Title 1, 2, and 4 applications, and the education plan.

Public comment none currently.

Meetings and announcements

Next work session and board meeting June 20, 2022

Silver High School graduation May 19, 2022

Cliff High School graduation May 20, 2022

Finance committee meeting June 16, 2022

School law conference June 2-4, 2022

2022 NMSBA leadership retreat July 14-16, 2022, location TBA

An executive session took place to evaluate the superintendent and his contract. The session lasted about 55 minutes.

Open session

The board approved his contract extension and gave him a good evaluation. Diaz said they all had ongoing satisfaction with his performance and his moving expenses could be refunded now.

Meeting adjourned.

 

The Silver City Consolidated Schools held a work session May 9, 2022. President Ashley Montenegro called the meeting to order. Other board members in attendance included Michelle Diaz, Patrick Cohn, Eddie Flores and Mike McMillan. Superintendent William Hawkins also attended.

The board approved the work session agenda.

Michelle McCain, finance director presented to the board highlights for the upcoming 2022-2023 school year budget. Members had received a copy of the budget to review.

McCain explained the TCI index and multiplying program units. The program units are based on 80-120 day student counts for 2021-2022 and then multiplied by the cost index. Special education has a separate multiplier as does fine arts training. She pointed out that the district receives more for national board-certified teachers.

The at-risk index hit the district negatively. She explained it comes from the census and at risk is figured by income, English proficiency, and mobility. Many people are not comfortable giving the government information. Last year's index had been 2.06 and now it decreased to 1.85. This translated in a loss of a couple hundred thousand dollars in the budget.

In November the state sent out a questionnaire for the district to project if the student population will grow, stay the same or decrease at every level. Silver Schools used a very conservative approach and stated a ten percent growth. However, McCain explained that if that growth didn't happen the funds would have to be returned. The funds received for the growth would be approximately $653,000. The district does receive funds for home schooled kids, but that number is probably more than is known.

McCain said the district is required to keep four percent cash reserves based on the full budget. That amount is approximately $1.1 million.

Some of the new budget requirements affecting the district have to do with the required minimum $15 an hour wage. A budget will not be approved by the state unless that requirement is met.

The medical insurance increased six percent. She wanted to make it clear that did not mean salary six percent, but the insurance cost is increased by the six percent. She also pointed out that the district must match that increase.

The risk insurance increased considerably. This insurance also covers property and workmen's compensation. The cost went from $901,000 last year to $951,880 and is due July 31, 2022.

McCain went through the budgeted numbers for salaries, substitutes (teachers, nurses, janitorial, etc.). She pointed out that 26.8 percent of every dollar in salary must be paid out to the retirement fund.

McCain said the Class A and B (increment schedule for coaches) increased by ten percent. The upcoming budgeted amount will be $480,272.

Student travel increased to $230,620 from last year due to increases in gas, food, and lodging.

She went through a few others that increased. Professional development $24,400, contract related services $148,411, supplies and materials $213,527. Board travel for training used to be $30 per diem per day and has increased to $55.

Other items on the budget include textbooks, background checks, and day-to-day expenses.

McCain said there are other funding sources, but many times that money can only be used for what it is intended for. The example given had to do with the $1.2 million for air quality.

McCain said other funding that has been a blessing is HB33 and SB9. She explained it keeps the lights on and computers running. It all must be used for maintenance and technical and cannot be used for salaries.

At this point Montenegro interjected that she wanted to make it very clear that the district is not funded well, it is managed well.

Hawkins thanked McCain for all her hard work on this and he knew she had spent many weekends to get this put together.

Work session adjourned.

Regular meeting

The Silver City Consolidated Schools held the board meeting May 9, 2022. President Ashley Montenegro called the meeting to order. Other board members in attendance included Michelle Diaz, Patrick Cohn, Eddie Flores, Mike McMillan. Superintendent William Hawkins also attended. The pledge of allegiance and salute to New Mexico flag took place.

The board approved the minutes from the work session and board meeting March 21, 2022.

The board approved the agenda for the meeting.

Information and presentations

Dottie Pfeifer from Kiwanis presented the students of the month awards. Each student is given a certificate, bumper sticker, and gift certificate. These students represented both April and May recipients. Jordan McCain, Silver High School, works as an office aide and she's punctual, dependable, and has a good work ethic. She has a 3.7 GPA and plays on the basketball team. Cody Lewis, Cliff Schools, is driven and compassionate. He participates in 4-H and track and will be attending Olympian school in Las Cruces. Avery Beck, Silver High School, exhibits great sportsmanship. He had been asked to apply for a scholarship and declined saying there were probably students out there with more need than him. Malaki Tanuvasa, La Plata Middle School, is said to be a hard-working student that stands up for other students being bullied and an all-around wonderful student. Chris Medina, La Plata Middle School, is described as being very deserving and always ready to help.

Jeanette Medran, nurse director, presented the district's nurses with recognition for national nurses week. The nurses recognized included, Zacilah Eden – Stout Elementary, Abby Lane Crumbley – Silver Scholars Academy, Jill Colleen Eastep – Harrison Schmitt Elementary, Karen Elizabeth Hurst – Silver High School, Starrann Clarise Moon – Cliff High School, Amy Souders Potts – Jose Barrios Elementary, Katrina Janel May Schottmuller – La Plata Middle School, and Brenda Ann Woods – Sixth Street Elementary.

Hawkins wanted to also recognize the nurses for taking care of not only the kids but the teachers and staff. He said this last year they went above and beyond and thanked them.

Victor Oaxaca, transportation director gave a run down on the inflation of materials and gas. He also reported to them how hard it has been to get parts. They end up taking a lot longer to get or are backordered. He went through each item.

Hawkins gave the board an update on all the calendars for the upcoming school year. The choice that had been most voted for increased the Thanksgiving and fall break to a full week. It also reflects two professional days one on Martin Luther King Day and the other Presidents Day. There will also be training on January 5 and 6. He said Cliff will still be on a four-day week and the Silver Scholars have a few differences.

Hawkins said the statewide stats for graduation falls at 78.6 percent, Silver High falls at 92 percent and Cliff 90.5 percent.

Hawkins said the Studor strategic plan had passed phase one and all information had been gathered, broken down and analyzed. He had given the board a packet with the information. He said eventually they would officially adopt the four elements with the board approval. The four main themes of the plan are: prepare students to fully advance in their education, empower the employees, involve parents, families, and guardians, and build community partnerships. Montenegro said: "We need to keep this in our budget, so it's maintained every year and not just every five years."

Louis Alvarez, Associate Superintendent, said the district is 98 percent staffed currently. They have seven vacancies right now but because of the end of the school year he's not concerned.

Cindy Barris, Associate Superintendent, gave the board a large packet of information for them to review. She said there is a smaller number of virtual education students and most returned are in K-5 and they had picked up three students.

Barris had been involved in the budget process and title 1, 2, and 4. She said they had been done and submitted last week. The fine arts do not have a budget yet but it will be worked on. She explained the education plan briefly and listed seven sections, at risk, ELTP (extended learning time) and 5K plus, beginning teacher mentorship, performance targets, special education, federal and local revenue, and family income index.

Hawkins thanked Barris and McCain for all their hard work on the budget and knew they had spent countless hours on it.

Montenegro gave a board of education report. She said they meet the Thursday before the board meeting and the public is welcome. The last meeting, they reviewed the salary increment schedule. Salaries fall at 78.2 percent of the budget. Class A and B also saw an increase. McMillan commented on being grateful for the bump up on increments in salaries.

The threat assessment committee report came from Flores. He said they had a meeting last week and all the training had been completed by students and staff for ALICE (active shooter response training). Flores said over the summer he wanted to refocus their efforts. There have been some past issues where threat assessment should have been called and had not been. There has been an increase in bullying, and he has not seen follow-up. Threat assessment should be consulted "to cover ourselves." Some of the principals have said they don't need it and can handle it themselves. Alvarez said protocols need to be set up for the principals.

Diaz pointed out that traditionally conflict resolution is mostly between the school and parents. The kids need to be brought into it and be part of it.

Hawkins wanted to let the board know that principals spend a lot of time investigating and students are brought together to mediate the problem. He said they are following guidelines but there is always room for improvement. He said he would look forward to protocols from Flores and Alvarez.

Cohn said he agreed with Diaz and Hawkins.

Board comments

Montenegro said the schools are back to being as normal as possible. She said it had been a pleasant school year and she's happy to be part of it. "I am excited about the strategic plan." She congratulated the graduates and their families. She wanted everyone to enjoy all the events in the upcoming week and wished everyone well.

Diaz congratulated all the graduates and all the ones that also got college credits during high school. She thanked the culinary team and said not a lot of people know how much catering they are doing and doing a great job. They are very professional, and Mrs. Flores has done a great job with them. She congratulated the people in summer athletics and is glad to see the increment increase in raises for the coaches.

Cohn congratulated the students and families on graduation. He thanked the teachers and staff for all their hard work. "I am thrilled to serve on the board and with you all."

McMillan said the year has flown by. Senior week happens next week along with graduation. He apologized he would not make the Cliff graduation because his niece graduates the same day in Deming. He thanked all the teachers and staff.

Flores agreed with all the previous boards comments. He wanted to thank Barris for all she has done. He said most people don't know that before she came things didn't happen as efficiently as they do now. "She comes through and has done a wonderful job." He commented on how important the culinary team has become.

Public comment none currently.

The board approved checks written for April in the amount of $3,061,446.97

The board approved donations for Silver High School national history day totaling $11,500. They came from Beck Family Dental $2,500, Cassie Health Center $500, Sierra Valley LLC $500, Silver City Dental $500, Southwest Adolescent Group $500, and Town of Silver City $7,000. Flores and McMillan thanked all the donors.

Hawkins wanted to thank everyone who had donated throughout the year. He said last time he forgot the thank WNMU, Dr. Shepard for the $2,000 donation to FCCLA (Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America) to help with travel to San Diego for competition.

The board approved all the calendars, schedules, and budget for the upcoming fiscal year. They included 2022-2023 budget, 2022-2023 salary schedules, 2022-2023 increment schedules, 2022-2023 Cliff and Silver calendars, Title 1, 2, and 4 applications, and the education plan.

Public comment none currently.

Meetings and announcements

Next work session and board meeting June 20, 2022

Silver High School graduation May 19, 2022

Cliff High School graduation May 20, 2022

Finance committee meeting June 16, 2022

School law conference June 2-4, 2022

2022 NMSBA leadership retreat July 14-16, 2022, location TBA

An executive session took place to evaluate the superintendent and his contract. The session lasted about 55 minutes.

Open session

The board approved his contract extension and gave him a good evaluation. Diaz said they all had ongoing satisfaction with his performance and his moving expenses could be refunded now.

Meeting adjourned.

Content on the Beat

WARNING: All articles and photos with a byline or photo credit are copyrighted to the author or photographer. You may not use any information found within the articles without asking permission AND giving attribution to the source. Photos can be requested and may incur a nominal fee for use personally or commercially.

Disclaimer: If you find errors in articles not written by the Beat team but sent to us from other content providers, please contact the writer, not the Beat. For example, obituaries are always provided by the funeral home or a family member. We can fix errors, but please give details on where the error is so we can find it. News releases from government and non-profit entities are posted generally without change, except for legal notices, which incur a small charge.

NOTE: If an article does not have a byline, it was written by someone not affiliated with the Beat and then sent to the Beat for posting.

Images: We have received complaints about large images blocking parts of other articles. If you encounter this problem, click on the title of the article you want to read and it will take you to that article's page, which shows only that article without any intruders. 

New Columnists: The Beat continues to bring you new columnists. And check out the old faithfuls who continue to provide content.

Newsletter: If you opt in to the Join GCB Three Times Weekly Updates option above this to the right, you will be subscribed to email notifications with links to recently posted articles.

Submitting to the Beat

Those new to providing news releases to the Beat are asked to please check out submission guidelines at https://www.grantcountybeat.com/about/submissions. They are for your information to make life easier on the readers, as well as for the editor.

Advertising: Don't forget to tell advertisers that you saw their ads on the Beat.

Classifieds: We have changed Classifieds to a cheaper and shorter option. Check periodically to see if any new ones have popped up. The former software failed us, so it's just a category now, with prices posted. Send your information to editor@grantcountybeat.com and we will post it as soon as we can. Instructions and prices are on the page.

Editor's Notes

It has come to this editor's attention that people are sending information to the Grant County Beat Facebook page. Please be aware that the editor does not regularly monitor the page. If you have items you want to send to the editor, please send them to editor@grantcountybeat.com. Thanks!

Here for YOU: Consider the Beat your DAILY newspaper for up-to-date information about Grant County. It's at your fingertips! One Click to Local News. Thanks for your support for and your readership of Grant County's online news source—www.grantcountybeat.com

Feel free to notify editor@grantcountybeat.com if you notice any technical problems on the site. Your convenience is my desire for the Beat.  The Beat totally appreciates its readers and subscribers!  

Compliance: Because you are an esteemed member of The Grant County Beat readership, be assured that we at the Beat continue to do everything we can to be in full compliance with GDPR and pertinent US law, so that the information you have chosen to give to us cannot be compromised.