By Marty Mayfield
The Raton Board of Education met in a special meeting Monday evening to approve or disapprove their previous decision and to act on the technology bond to provide the student with updated computer technology.
Superintendent Dr. Neal Terhune gave a brief discussion concerning teacher evaluations and how those would be more difficult under option #3. Each principal is responsible for teacher evaluations at their school and under option #3 Raton High would have a much higher number of evaluations (81) than the other schools where as Option #1 would be a more equitable situation. (See Slides)
Dr. Terhune told the board that he would support option #3 if that is what the board wanted. He would however explain to the New Mexico Public Education Department why he disagreed with Option #3. Ultimately the PED will have the final decision on how the consolidation will be handled.
Option #3 closes Kearney school and moves the 8th grade to the high school and puts 7th through 4th grades at Raton Middle School with 2nd and 3rd at Columbian and kindergarten and 1st at Longfellow.
As board member Ted Kamp noted we have already voted on this issue and I feel the same thus the vote was a 2-2 vote as Melissa Mack was not present due to illness. With a 2-2 tie the decision will remain the same and Option #3 will be presented to the PED with option #2 being the second option. Option #2 is to close two schools, Colmbian and Kearney, and have k thru 2nd in Longfellow, 3rd thru 6th grades at the current Raton Mid School, and 7th thru 12 grades at the Raton High School.
The board also took up the issue of a technology bond to improve that capability in the school system. After some discussion the board voted for Option #3 which will provide students with tablets to use in the classroom to do class work. It will also provide other IT pluses as well as some teacher training. The cost of the bond will be just over $800,000 and cost taxpayers about $38.00 a year for every $100,000 of valuation with a payout of five years. (see slide below)
The teachers that were present during the discussion explained to the board that this is a must if the school system is to provide students the skills they will need to move on in life noting that in college many classes are online and textbooks are now ebooks or online and are moving from the paper text to an electronic text.