The Salida school board discussed next steps Tuesday in the partnership between the school district and Colorado Mountain College following voter approval of the annexation.

Rachel Pokrandt, vice president of CMC Leadville campus, told the board during its regular meeting that Salida is the “talk of the district” and is “front and center in everybody’s planning.”

Pokrandt assured the board that Salida’s voice will be heard in CMC Board of Trustees meetings.

Incoming Leadville board member Bob Hartzell will represent Salida as well as Leadville and will attend Salida advisory committee meetings.

In the future, CMC will create two new seats for its Board of Trustees: one to represent Salida and a second seat for a larger district.

Strategic planning moving forward will include community meetings and listening sessions for the Salida School District and CMC boards to hear the needs of the community in order to address them in programming.

In other business the board:

• Discussed the district’s budget and collective bargaining team allocations.

• Heard a guest report from Guidestone Colorado’s farm manager Monica Pless, who spoke about site improvements at the Farm to School Garden, including installation of the new geodesic grow dome.

Pless also covered the expansion of agricultural products provided for the district’s nutrition program. With the new grow dome, the program will attempt to grow a variety of crops to add to student nutrition.

• Heard from Salida School District Financial Director Shiela Moore about the 2019-2020 budget. Moore said the district is in good shape for the 2019-2020 school year.

Chris Parker, a representative of Hinkle and Associates, who performed this year’s audit, told the board his findings concurred with Moore’s.

• Voted to approve the district’s strategic plan and unified improvement plan.

• Voted to approve land acquisition committee recommendations.

• Voted to approve a resolution declaring school board director vacancies in District 1 and District 5.

• Heard reports from department managers and school principals.

The board also took time to recognize the contributions of outgoing board members Jeff Post and Penny Wilken for their service as well as Salida school bus driver Hunter O’Dell, who is retiring after more than 20 years driving for the district.

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