By Lynn Janes

The Cobre Consolidated School Board held a meeting on November 13, 2023. Board members in attendance included, , Gilbert Guadiana, Serena Murillo, David Terrazas (online) and Elizabeth Dean (online). Acting superintendent Michael Koury also attended online. Gabriella Begay did not attend.

Kiwanis had two students of the month awards. They had not been able to attend, and Guadiana presented them.

Melanie Baca a senior at Cobre High School maintains a 3.8 GPA. She always challenges herself and has become very confident. She can be found taking photos at the track many times. She also excels in volleyball.

Angelita Aveles attends Snell Middle School and has been a great role model to the other students and an excellent student.

Action items

The board approved the agenda and minutes from October 23, 2023

The board approved the grant of $125,000 for providing wellness rooms at Snell Middle School. Cheryl Fowler, school counselor, saw the need for mental health and crisis intervention and saw the opportunity to apply for the grant. With this grant they can hire extra staff to be there when she and the other councilor cannot. They will also use the grant to expose students to different career paths by using local businesses. The calming area will be called the zen den, it will have sensory lighting and they will be able to provide a resource library. Fowler also said they would be offering parent workshops to promote health and wellness. Koury thanked her for stepping up to apply for the grant.

The board approved the structured literacy support grant for $100,000. Suzanne Chavira, director of academics, had applied for this grant for all four elementary schools. They all received the grant but each one would use in different ways.

The board approved the monthly bills. They had not had a meeting but Frank Ryan, finance director, had emailed the committee all the information and no one had any questions.

The board approved the preventative maintenance plan. Lisa Walton, director of operations, asked if the board had any questions. She had provided the plan to them before the meeting. Guadiana asked if they used the software provided by the state to do the plan. Walton said they do and currently they will be updating.

Unfinished business

The board addressed a past complaint by a parent concerning the bus not coming to their home. Koury said they had gone above and beyond and contacted the state to verify regulations. Also, to go to the home the bus could not turn around. He had talked to the people, but they still had not been happy. Murillo said she had remembered the student was pre-K. Koury said they did not have a regulation to have to go door-to-door to pick up students. They had been offered several courtesies to work with them and they refused.

Koury said he had met with David Chavez concerning the strategic plan and he had emailed all the information and will be coming down to meet with them and work to move the plan forward. Koury said he would email the board with all the information sent to him.

Terrazas gave a report on the finance committee. They had not met but Ryan had sent them all the information, and no one had any questions. They will be meeting in December.

Guadiana gave a report on the audit committee. They had also not met but would meet the following week.

Board members reports.

Dean and Murillo didn't have anything to report.

Terrazas said they had made a lot of progress with upgrades at Hurley Elementary and thanked them.

Guadiana said he has been attending the chess club at the high school and attending some of the games

Superintendent's report

Koury had many of the department heads come in and give a report and update.

Amber Brandt, attendance success coach, gave the board an update on the attendance stats. In the first nine weeks of school compared to last year at the same time attendance had increased two to three points. She went over some of the protocols they have implemented to improve it. One of the main things they have been doing is working with the parents to see what they can do to help improve the situation.

Walton gave an update on all the bond projects. They had finished all the cameras at Bayard Elementary and Snell Middle School. The stucco repairs at San Lorenzo had been finished. She went over the whole list with them. The contractor for the Central drainage project had concerns that the pipe needed to be 12" so she had gone to Stantec and ask for their input and George Esqueda said the 4" would work fine.

Theresa Villa, coordinator of family engagement, updated the board on their projects. They had met the goal of providing turkey dinners for 160 families. She provided a chart for the board that showed how much family engagement they had with each school and for each event. They will have a tree lighting coming up in December that will happen at the high school. Santa Claus will be making an appearance and hot cocoa will be available. Attendees can have photos taken and make ornaments.

Erica Luckhurst, coordinator of special education, said they had been able to purchase special devices to help and have been restructuring some of the programs.

Norma Ramirez, coordinator of human resources, said they have been focusing on training and meeting policies and procedures. When she came the district had many openings and she had worked hard to fill those positions and went over what they had left to fill. She had reached out to Silver Consolidated Schools for help and guidance on some things and they have been collaborating on a few projects.

Koury gave an update on the Ron Clark professional development training. He will be taking two groups to the training, one in December and one in February. He commented that Silver had already gone and had some very positive feedback. Begay had gone also and said, " It was life-changing."

Katelyn Church, coordinator of technology, gave the board an update on the tech bond. She told them that she and Koury had decided to buy the lease out on the current computers she had addressed in a previous meeting. These computers have two to three years left and they can have some time to obtain the funding to start replacing them. They had talked about purchasing flat panel interactive monitors. In going through all the equipment Church said she found twenty brand new projectors that she thought they should use first. The district is not prepared for the level of cyber security the state has recently required. The state will be helping to see what the district needs to do to meet the requirements. Church had contacted a company to help with some things. "Security starts with us." She attended a conference in Albuquerque recently and received a lot of education to help them keep up to date.

Koury had written a grant last year for $725,000 to help with school violence protection. The district has been awarded $500,000. He said, "It was a very hard grant to get and Cobre was the only New Mexico school to get it." It will help to continue the security measures and will get them close to finishing what they need.

Chavira said that eighty hours of professional development is required for each teacher, and they will have most of them done by the end of this semester.

New business

The board tabled the field trip funds.

Public input

Guadiana said he had met with the special education department and would like to request that the administration see about putting fencing in at the schools.

Meeting adjourned.

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