Board of Education hears about Green Acres gardens – The Fort Morgan Times

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The Morgan County School District Re-3 School Board held a regular meeting on Monday, November 15.

Special presentation

Principal Sandra Bills of Green Acres Elementary School has been invited to speak to the board about the exciting things happening at her school. Bills mentioned several programs, such as the Gifted and Talented Program, Special Education Program, Reading Intervention Programs, and English as a Second Language (ESL). However, she chose to focus on the elementary school students’ favorite activity: the garden club.

“What’s really special about Green Acres is our garden. We have this gardening club that Becky Greenwood started for us (in 2010). So far, about 250 children have had the chance to garden in grades three, four and five, ”Bills said.

The garden is not only used during the school year, but also throughout the summer for children to learn about soil and planting. In winter, many plants are moved indoors to a more regulated temperature, but the garden remains all year round.

“There are a lot of great skills to be learned from (gardening)… work ethic, life cycles, the origin of food sources, the importance of community and stewardship,” Bills said.

In addition to learning all of these skills, students have the opportunity to experience farming, often for the first time. Bills explained that the students grow flowers, but also grow fruits, vegetables and herbs, which they learned to cook with. So far, they’ve done everything from salads to carrot cake. They also learned how to compost and marinate things, with homemade dill pickles being fan favorites so far.

Bills explained that Greenwood, a fourth-grade math teacher, is currently in the process of becoming an AmeriCorps certified master gardener, so she is able to relate some of what she is learning to the students.

Green Acres has been asked to help Pioneer create a garden at their school and hopes to help more local elementary schools create gardens in the future.

Reports

FMHS student representative Alex Rivas began the reports with a reminder of the upcoming Thanksgiving vacation and just five weeks before the semester ends. He also gave some sports updates from the FMHS, highlighting the cheerleader league championship victory and the football team’s success in winning the opening game of the playoffs and advancing to the quarterfinals. final.

Superintendent Dr. Randy Miller provided an update on construction at FMHS. Construction is largely complete, but a few things will be completed over the Christmas holidays. The only part that is expected to be completed in the new year will be the snowmelt on the south side of the building, due to supply issues. Miller estimates that the snowmelt will be over in late January or early February.

At the last meeting, the board approved Cator, Ruma & Associates Co. to create their offer for HVAC upgrades. Miller said all documents would need to be completed by Jan.20, 2022 in order to bid, which will take three to four more weeks to process. By February 20, 2022, the board is expected to know who received the offer, and by August 2022, Miller is hoping the project will be completed.

Miller also gave a quick update on the disease. A few Education for Life (EFL) assistants have tested positive for COVID-19 and will stay home until after Thanksgiving as a precaution. Miller also said that many people get the flu for several days at a time. He hopes to keep students in school in person, but said if a school were to close it would likely be due to a lack of staff and substitute teachers.

He also informed the Board of Directors that the ACSB (Colorado Association of School Boards) convention will be held next week.

Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Assessment, Dr. Rena Frasco, began by thanking Bills for her garden presentation and mentioned that Greenwood had been instrumental in helping Pioneer Elementary School start their garden.

“We got a grant for the Pioneer Community Garden from a girl named Britta Bergstrom. She is a graduate student in civil engineering and education. She applied for a grant in conjunction with us through CU’s Outreach and Engagement office. She therefore participated in the demolition of the Pioneer planters on Saturday, October 30. So there is definitely a plan in place for spring, ”said Frasco, who has also been in contact with Columbine Elementary School about the potential addition of a greenhouse at that school.

Frasco also mentioned that this is the season for assessment training, as they will start testing ACCESS on 740 students in January.

CFO Toni Miller went ahead and filed the audit extension request, which creates the new deadline of March 1, 2022. She also mentioned that the auditors will be on site next week on November 22 and 23.

The main update from the Director of Human Resources, Dr Brian Childress, was about salary corrections: “We have made some salary corrections for administrative employees based on mistakes made in the past. We have done the same for certified employees, and we are finally ready to make this correction with classified people.

He said that, as the Council already knew, these corrections would have an impact on the general fund.

Discussion points

The Board agreed on a date next week, Monday, November 22, to meet with Dr. Randy Zila to discuss the search for a new superintendent.

A reading of the September 30, 2021 policy has been reviewed by the board for the third and final time.

Action items

The Board of Directors approved a donation of $ 550 from the Colorado Beef Council to the FMHS.

The Board also approved a donation of $ 18,000 from PDC Energy to be used towards the purchase of a tractor for the FHMS FFA department. FFA members are expected to accept this donation at their December 3 meeting.

The September 30, 2021 policy reading has been approved.

Advanced planning

Green Acres Elementary School has invited the board to attend its Thanksgiving “dinner” on Thursday, November 18 at 11:15 am.

The district’s Thanksgiving break is November 24-26.

The next board meeting will be on Monday December 6 at 7 p.m. At this meeting, outgoing Morgan County Re-3 School Board members will be recognized and new members will be sworn in.

The voting process won’t be complete until November 24, when all votes have been officially certified, but likely winners based on unofficial results include Kati Jess, Amy Grantham and Chris Everett Brown. Jess was present at the November 15th meeting in preparation for her role on the board.

The final board meeting of 2021 will be a special meeting to be held at 7 a.m. on Wednesday, December 15.


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