Salida School Board approved staff recommendations for the capital wish list for the upcoming Salida School District budget during the regular meeting Tuesday.

Among items recommended by Superintendent David Blackburn and business manger Shiela Moore were:

• A $10,000 intercom system for Salida Early Childhood Center to update internal communications for security reasons.

• Setting aside $500,000 for land acquisition to address future district growth.

• Installation of seatbelts on district buses at $60,000

• Maintenance projects at Salida Middle School, Horizons Exploratory Academy and Crest Academy costing about $23,880.

The board approved the recommendations to move forward as the staff puts together the district budget in May.

The board also approved academic calendars for the 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 school years.

Horizons Exploratory Academy and Crest Academy gave detailed reports of the activities of each school.

The Horizons report was given by students who receive credit for public speaking as part of the school’s graduation requirements.

Horizon requires that all students complete an English portfolio with examples of writing and presentation, including public speaking, and a career exploration project.

Three members Horizon’s student leadership team, Sierra Lenhart, Dulce Trujillo and Keegan Haeck presented a video interview with several Horizon students regarding their experience at the alternative high school.

Chloe Waniger presented on the English portfolio requirement and Arianna Pappenfort and Jelissa Quintana presented on the career exploration portfolio.

Crest Academy principal Jill Davis presented a timeline of the progression of Crest from its start as a small private school in 2007 to the present.

The board discussed insurance and compensation for district employees, initial staffing requests and the district’s operational communications system.

Prior to the regular meeting the board heard a report from athletics and activity director Jim Coscarella, about the results of a survey to gauge student interests in different sports.

Based on the information gathered and available resources, Coscarella recommended the high school and middle school softball, and middle school baseball be added to the roster of sports offered by the district.

The high school softball program is estimated to cost about $30,000 to start with about $18,000 in recurring costs annually.

Middle school softball and baseball would cost about $22,000 each to implement with recurring costs of about $11,000 each annually.

The board also heard a presentation on mill levy equalization from Tracie Rainey of the Colorado School Finance Project.

Rainey explained the consequences of past legislation regarding school funding and new legislation currently being proposed.

The next school board meeting is set for 6 p.m. March 10.

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