Re-1 board fails to address Stepstone leaders’ request
Leaders of the Stepstone Center left Wednesday’s Roaring Fork School District Re-1 school board meeting disappointed after board members failed to comment before the meeting on a letter regarding the Re-1 superintendent search.Stepstone board president Marianna Velasquez-Schmahl sent all Re-1 board members a letter Oct. 16 asking the board to allow two members of a multicultural committee created by Stepstone to sit on the board’s superintendent search committee. The letter also urges the board to take its superintendent search nationwide. Board president Susan Hakanson said the board will not make any more decisions regarding the superintendent search process until the board’s community focus groups have finished meeting this week. The board didn’t respond to the letter because state law requires board members to have such discussions in public, preventing the board from responding between meetings, said board member Peter Delany. He added that board members agreed Oct. 12 that the committee Stepstone is requesting will not be formed and that members have not yet decided to take the superintendent search nationwide. “I appreciate letters like this. It solidifies where you stand,” said board member Brad Zeigel. “I can’t respond right away.”Board member Bruce Wampler warned that Stepstone shouldn’t have greater participation in the selection process than any other community group. But the board’s response isn’t stopping Stepstone from forming a committee anyway. Velasquez-Schmahl told board members she’s disappointed they didn’t respond before the meeting. Despite the board’s silence, she said, Stepstone will form a multicultural committee – complete with two Latino representatives – that will try to define how the school board should screen superintendent applicants. She said the committee will meet before the Nov. 9 board meeting, when Stepstone will present “a document” to the board about what the committee discussed. Stepstone supporter Aide Arana said that despite the board’s efforts to encourage the community to elect a Latino school board member, she said there’s no Latino representation there and “I’d like to feel my kids are being advocated for.”In other business Wednesday, the board discussed minor changes to district policies addressing safe schools, student withdrawal and dropouts, student discipline, the district’s instructional program, grading system, dress code, weapons in school, gangs, student absences, drug and alcohol use, truancy and student publications.Contact Bobby Magill: 945-8515, ext. email@example.com
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