Elizabeth Schools BOE Recap
Highlights from the March 2019 meeting
Board approves Frontier High School schedule change
Frontier High School provides alternative learning options for students who have not experienced success in a traditional high school setting. The school has experienced great success over the years supporting the individual needs of the students it serves. It has is consistently ranked in the top seven alternative campuses in the state.
At the March 11 Board of Education meeting, the board unanimously approved the Frontier High School 2019-20 school calendar and a change in the school’s schedule. The revised calendar provides greater flexibility for students and a structure that better addresses students’ unique social-emotional and academic needs.
The most notable change is the modified four-day week schedule. School will be in session Tuesday through Friday and the length of each school day will be extended. One Monday a month will be designated as “Mission Monday.” On Mission Mondays, students will focus on post-secondary preparation. For example, students will visit colleges, trade schools or places of business to explore interests and career options after high school. The Mission Monday activities will be organized and led by Frontier High School staff. The goal is to help students prepare for life after graduation. When students have a clearer idea of what is available and what paths they can take, they have a greater chance of achieving success.
Another important change centers on how students start each school day. This will become Block Time, or a dedicated period for independent study or credit recovery. All teachers will be available during this time to support students as they work on credit recovery or projects – such as their Passion Projects or required capstone portfolio project. During this time, Frontier teachers will also be offering teacher-supported High School Equivalency Test (HSET)/GED preparatory courses for youth who do not attend school on a full-time basis and want to take the HSET test.
Singing Hills Elementary Showcase
In Fiscal Year 2018-19, Elizabeth School District will receive $1.59 million in mill levy override revenue. Approximately $1.1 million of these funds will be transferred to the Bond Redemption Fund this fiscal year to make the final payment on the Elizabeth High School bond in December 2019. The remainder of the 2018-19 MLO revenue, approximately $490,000, will be allocated proportionally between the district and Legacy Academy.
The district will allocate its portion of the MLO revenue collected during FY 2018-19 in the same percentages promised during the MLO campaign – 86% toward increased compensation for teachers and support staff; 8-9% for safety and security measure; and 5-6% to provide students with additional access to technology.
The 2018-19 MLO uses are considered “one-time” since the allocations beginning in the 2019-20 fiscal year are generally ongoing expenses. The 2018-19 MLO allocations include:
A one-time retention payment will be distributed to eligible licensed (teachers) and classified (support) staff in either October or November. Eligible employees must be in at least their second year working for the district during Fiscal Year 2019-20. District administrators will not receive the one-time payment.
Safety and Security
- Vape detection sensors at Elizabeth High School
- Lockdown and fire containment system at Singing Hills Elementary
- iPads to replace older models that are becoming obsolete
- Osmo learning devices for iPads
- Osmo coding software for iPads
- Code & Go robot mouse
- Lego WeDo STEM sets
- Dash and Dot robotics
- MakeyMakey electronic invention STEM kits
- Logo WeDo STEM sets
- Two virtual reality kits
- Programmable drones kit
Update on use of ongoing safety & security MLO funds
The board reviewed the Student Behavior Support Specialist job description draft. This position will be funded with a portion of the mill levy override (MLO) funds designated for safety and security.
HVAC Automation System
The board approved a new HVAC automation system for Elizabeth High School, Running Creek Elementary and Singing Hills Elementary. The district currently uses a software program at these schools that were discontinued in 2011. Between the three schools, there are 42 rooftop units, nine boilers, four hot water tanks, six recirculation pumps, four mixing valves and 37 exhaust fans which are being controlled by the HVAC system. The three schools spend about $237,000 each year in electricity, of which $170,000 goes to heating and cooling. The new software is estimated to save the district up to 18%.
With its current system, the district is in a reactionary position when problems arise and the resulting emergency repair calls are costly. The new automation system provides remote access, the ability to provide preventive maintenance, and allows for quicker and cheaper repairs. The system also has the capability to add controls for security systems and fire alarms, along with other systems.
The current HVAC components at Elizabeth Middle School and Frontier High School are not compatible with the new HVAC automation system.
The next Board of Education meeting is Monday, April 8, at 6 p.m. in the board room at the district office.