Region V BOCES Asking for .2 Mills at Sweetwater #2 Meeting

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GREEN RIVER — The Region V Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) is in need of an increase from its current .1 mill levy to .2 mills, Region V BOCES Executive Director Dan Mayer told the Sweetwater County School District #2 board of trustees at their Tuesday meeting.

The proposed .2 mills from SCSD No. 2 would raise approximately $181,000 for Region V BOCES. The board of trustees did not vote on the proposal at their Tuesday gathering.

Superintendent Donna Little-Kaumo said that the issue of increasing the district mill levy to .2 would be taken up at the board’s July budget meeting.

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Board of trustees meetings are normally held on the second Tuesday of the month, but the district budget meeting will take place on Tuesday, July 17, not July 10.

Mayer made his case to the trustees, starting with a listing of the Region V facilities: the C-V Ranch in Wilson, WY, Roosevelt Learning Center in Rock Springs—soon to be moving temporarily to the former Jackson Elementary School in Green River—Hayden Peak Academy in Evanston, and Sunrise Day School in Hudson, WY. Currently, there is one local student in residence at C-V Ranch, and 11 local students at Roosevelt Learning Center.

Altogether, Mayer said, C-V Ranch presently has 25 students in residence and 34 students in the day schools, representing a cross-section of the different school districts under the Region V BOCES aegis.

As for funding, 86% of the Region V budget comes from billable services, Mayer explained, while 11% comes from the mill levy and the remaining 2% comes from federal sources.

Although approximately 83% of the Region V budget goes toward staff, Mayer said, capital projects to create a better learning environment have been important of late. Mayer provided a slide presentation demonstrating the improvements to the gym and cafeteria at the C-V Ranch, new flooring and furniture at the C-V Ranch, plus recent vehicle purchases to transport day students, and a swing set at the Roosevelt Learning Center.

“We’re starting to put in some playground equipment for those (RLC) students,” Mayer said.

The Roosevelt Learning Center will be relocating to the former Jackson Elementary School while repairs are made to the RLC boiler.

Trustee Steve Core asked if SCSD No. 2 were to approve an increase to .2 mills, could that extra .1 mill go toward Roosevelt Learning Center?

Mayer responded that he would try to see that the extra .1 mill would be earmarked for the RLC, although he did not make an absolute guarantee.

The C-V Ranch came in for additional emphasis. At that location, students are provided with music therapy, therapeutic horseback riding, and even canine therapy, Mayer said. There are also psychologists, social workers and a board certified behavior analyst on staff at the C-V Ranch.

Because of declines in funding for agencies such as the Department of Family Services, Mayer added, school districts are seeing an increased need for the Region V BOCES day schools. The day schools then provide a more restrictive environment for students needing a greater degree of supervision than local school districts can provide.

The decision on Region V BOCES funding will be made at the board’s July budget meeting, Little-Kaumo said.

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Supervising students successfully

In his closing remarks, trustee John Malone referenced the tragic death by drowning of the 19-month-old daughter of Olympic athlete Bode Miller when she wandered away from a family gathering.

SCSD No. 2 has responsibility for supervising approximately 2,000 students per day, “And it’s not these seven people (on the board) who are doing it,” Malone said. “It’s all the people we hire, teachers and staff.”

Attending the board meeting in addition to Core and Malone were chairman Brenda Roosa and trustees Corina Tynsky, Mark Sanders and Robin Steiss. Trustee Ann Rudoff was absent.