School board retreat today in Colorado Springs, no agenda

District 51 School Board members will have a retreat open to the public this morning, but it will take constituents a bit of a drive to attend.

The board is meeting from 7:30 a.m. to noon in Colorado Springs, where they and other boards from across the state are attending the annual Colorado Association of School Boards convention. The convention began Thursday and ends Sunday.

Retreats during the CASB convention are common practice in years when a majority of board members attend the convention, according to District 51 spokeswoman Christy McGee. She said the retreat will be informal and may include information for new board members about the district’s long-term plan but no “major decisions.”

“They’re not retreating there to avoid people but because they’re already there for the convention,” McGee said. “We’re not doing anything sneaky.”

Four board members will be in attendance at today’s retreat: Board President Greg Mikolai, Board Vice President John Williams, and board members Ann Tisue and Tom Parrish. Absent from the retreat will be the board’s representative to the CASB delegate assembly, Jeff Leany.

This is the board’s 12th retreat in about five years but just the second to take place outside Grand Junction. District 51 School Board members attended a retreat in Colorado Springs the night before a Colorado Association of School Boards convention in December 2008 as well. No agenda was posted for that meeting either.

The board hosted a work session during the convention two years ago in Colorado Springs. The agenda for that meeting included the topics “governance planning, updates and discussion.” The same topics have been placed on every District 51 School Board retreat agenda since Aug. 3, 2010.

Colorado Sunshine Laws on open meetings and records allow public boards to meet without an agenda as long as they post notice of the meeting, as District 51 did. But those notices “must include a specific agenda if at all possible,” according to the laws.

A “possible board retreat” and work session has been scheduled for January 7 at the Basil T. Knight Center, 596 N. Westgate Drive.


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