District 51 Board of Education on strategic plan update, medical marijuana in schools

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) – The Mesa Co. Valley School District 51 Board of Education approved a policy allowing school personnel to give medical marijuana to certain qualified students at its workshop on Tues. night. A law passed in Colorado in May requires schools to allow for the storage and administration of cannabis-based medicine on school property.

The board also received an update regarding its strategic plan. Members of the public were allowed to share their thoughts on how the district is doing in a number of areas. According to District 51 Superintendent Dr. Diana Sirko, “It’s just a great opportunity to talk to our staff, our students, our community, and say what do you want for your schools and what do you want your child’s education to be like, so we can all get excited about a strong direction for the future.”

Board of Education candidate for District C Andrea Haitz says she thinks engaging the public in this way is important for getting feedback on the district’s direction.

She explained that, “I think what I’m hearing a lot from the community is that they want to know what the district’s plan is. And so the strategic plan looking forward as to what our ideal graduate looks like is really important for our community, and so I really commend them that they’re doing this. And then, really that we just make sure that we keep doing this year after year to show the community that we have a plan for D.51 and our students.”

District C director Trish Mahre is saying the board is committed to engaging the public on district issues. She says that discussions like the one held Tues. evening demonstrate the board’s commitment to transparency as well. According to her, “And I hope the public, I hope other candidates for the school board, participated in those options too because those are specific things that we’re doing to be transparent, open, accountable to the public to have the public participate. So I think that was a good illustration of what happened during the strategy sessions and listening sessions with the public.”

Also among Tuesday’s agenda items: selecting a handful of applicants to move forward for interviews to fill the vacancy in District B’s spot on the board. Directors expressed interest in interviewing Kari Sholtes, Cindy Enos-Martinez, Garret Carrica, and Daniel Worth for the position.

The Board of Education will conduct those interviews on Oct. 12.

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