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East Grand schools could receive more than $1 million from developments

by Will Bublitz
Sky-Hi Daily News

In addition to the good news in the election results for its 3A bond issue Tuesday night, the East Grand Board of Education got some other good news for the school district’s financial situation.

Included in the business items, the school board approved money-in-lieu-of-land payments for three subdivision developments. If all three projects move forward to construction, the district will net more than $1 million.

The three subdivisions and their calculated money-in-lieu-of-land payments are: Ridge Condominium Development, $591,857; Sterling Pointe Condominium Development, $482,365; and Thompson Creek Townhomes Subdivision, $28,460.

The school district will not see any of this money until the final plats for the projects are approved. Under state law, subdivision developers may be required by towns or counties to either dedicate a portion of land for potential school construction or make a money-in-lieu-of-land payment to the local school district.

Superintendent Robb Rankin told the board that the formula for the money-in-lieu-of-land payments is being updated to reflect the latest Census data and other factors used in their calculation.

In other business Tuesday, the board said goodbye to three of its long-time members ” Mark Bujanovich, Peter Cross and Dick Zieff. A reception at the District Office was held prior to the meeting to thank them for their years of service.

At the same time, the board welcomed three new directors ” Mike Thompson, Aimee Kroneberger and Melissa Quinn ” who were given the oath of office by Judge Mary Hoak of the 14th Judicial District Court in a brief ceremony.

After the swearing-in and seating of the new directors, the board nominated and approved its new officer positions. Tom Sifers is the new board president while Gail Delphia takes over as vice president. The secretary position was taken by Barbara Ahrens. New board member Melissa Quinn accepted the treasurer’s job.

Also at Tuesday’s meeting, the board was updated on the preparations for this week’s Search Institute Survey to be taken by the district’s students. The survey, which was first given to students in 1997, is taken every three years.

The Search Institute Survey, which is given grades 6 to 12, asks students what they think and feel about their school, themselves and the adults they know. It also asks questions about their use of drugs, alcohol and tobacco as well as sexual conduct, violent behavior and other illegal activities. It also asks questions about positive lifestyle behaviors.

Rankin described the surveys as a “snapshot of attitudes and behaviors” among students. He said it was also important for “tracking our schools’ character education program to assess their impact.”

The surveys, which will be taken this Thursday, can only be given to students with parental permission.

Principal Nancy Karas of East Grand Middle School said her school was “shooting for 100 percent participation” in the survey.

Middle Park High Principal Dale Fleming said he had received only 70 written parental permissions so far but would begin calling parents to get the required permission.

Another matter that gained the board’s attention was the start of student newspaper at Middle Park High School. “The Open Book” will be published quarterly and the first edition is expected by the end of November. Student editors David Diamond and Michaela Gibboni told the board it would feature student opinion pieces and creative writing.

Additional business at Tuesday’s meeting included the board’s approval for switching the district’s banking services to Grand Mountain Bank.

The board members were also updated on the search for a new superintendent. Questions were raised about the expenses and the need for explanations of those expenses by the company hired by the district to do the search.

Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, the Board of Education will not conduct a second meeting in November. Its next meeting is slated for Tuesday, Dec. 4, at 7 p.m. at the District Office in Granby.


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