Fri, May 24

Beaver Creek School Board elects new officers

VVN/Steve Ayers

BEAVER Creek School Superin-tendent Karin Ward (center) greets her new Governing Board officers, President Sheila Van Dyke (left) and Clerk Norma Dieffenbach. The new officers will serve for the next year.

By a unanimous decision of the five members, Sheila Van Dyke was chosen to serve as the board president, and Norma Dieffenbach was selected as the board’s clerk.

Former president Carl Layman and board member Bill Palmer were not present at the meeting, but voted via teleconference.

In addressing old business, the board expressed thanks to the Beaver Creek Kiwanis for obtaining 75 refurbished computers for the school. The Kiwanis obtained the computers through a charitable organization that solicits older model computers for schools and other organizations.

The board voted to award a contract to Southwest Educational Billing Services (SEBS) to oversee Medicaid billing for students in special education programs.

SEBS provides consultation and administrative services along with enrollment, training, claims processing, statistical and audit services to the school district so the school can take advantage of Medicaid funds available for eligible students.

Those funds could amount to as much as $20,000 in additional money for the district each year and are essentially unrestricted in their use. Many districts use the money for equipment, transportation and various other special needs projects.

Another advantage of the funds is that they can be rolled over at the end of the year if the district chooses not to spend them.

It will be the first year the school has applied for the money, which may be available to as many 45 students in the school.

SEBS was not the lowest bidder as far as the percentage charged to the district, but on the recommendation of several other districts, Superintendent Karin Ward recommended that the board award them the contract.

SEBS will bill the board 7 percent of the funds received from Medicaid.

The board also agreed to enter into a cooperative agreement Buena Vista Children’s Services to provide a collaborative after-school program.

The program, called Discovery Connection, provides students who must remain on campus after school recesses with a mix of recreation and academic assistance.

A typical after-school program allows for playtime followed by tutoring, homework or other academic exercise, group-based activities and free time.

The nonprofit organization offers the low- to no-cost program to any parent who requests the service. Cost and eligibility for assistance are addressed on an individual basis with full cost being approximately $2 per hour per student.

They even provide snacks.

The board also took time to recognize the school’s tutoring program. Beaver Creek student Taylor Barton gave a presentation to the board explaining the school’s tutoring program.

The tutors are seventh and eighth grade students who give an hour of their time a few of days a week to help out students in the first through third grade.

“The program helps develop compassion and empathy for the little guys,” Beaver Creek teacher and the program’s sponsor Tracy Franklin said.

The program is limited to 15 students per session and is eligible to any student with parental permission. The program is offered between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m., Tuesday through Friday.

Barton, a tutor in the program, told the board that she understands what it is like for a student feels they don’t get enough attention, and that is why she joined the program.

“ I just like helping other kids,” Barton said.