As Suzanne Nguyen Wisneski, the district’s executive director of federal, bilingual and Native American programs listens, Mountain View Middle School’s Erin Schmit addresses the school board at its meeting Monday.
(Gary Herron/ Rio Rancho Observer)

Updates on the Rio Rancho Public Schools’ two new buildings, an IRS audit, board approval for budget transfers and authorization for the remaining $15 million from the 2016 voter-approved bonds to be sold were quickly taken care of at last Monday evening’s meeting of the Rio Rancho Public Schools Board of Education, before a workshop dealing with cannabis on campus.

Board members learned the district is 84 percent bonded to capacity and that its assessed valuation, which determines bonding capacity, has shown steady growth.

The $15 million remaining of the original $60 million bond will be sold Sept. 12. It will feature, according to RBC Capital Market advisor Evan Kist, declining debt service to permit new bonds in the future — another $60 million bond issue comes before voters in November — without a tax increase.

The board also heard from Chief Operating Officer Mike Baker, sitting in for Superintendent Sue Cleveland, that a rare IRS audit on the district is requiring adjustments in the way some coaches and contractors not classified as employees will need to be paid, with W-2s or 1099s becoming necessary.

Also, in budget adjustments for the 2019-20 school year, a construction project to place Sodexo staffers in the RRPS administration offices won’t take place. With elimination of a position formerly tabbed “communications manager” — that person left the district — the salary for her successor will be less.

The budget adjustments amount to $350,000 and included hiring a finance specialist (at $52,470), an information technology project coordinator ($49,500), a human resources senior specialist ($80,000) and an HR specialist ($52,470).

Facilities Executive Director Melanie Archibeque told the board construction is underway at Joe Harris Elementary and the new Shining Stars Preschool campuses.

Also, Erin Schmit, the language development coordinator at Mountain View Middle School, was recognized for being named a WIDA Consortium “fellow,” through the International Consortium for Multilingual Excellence in Education, which acknowledged “the invaluable role of exemplary teachers of bilingual and multilingual learners in advancing the field in collaboration with professional development and research partners.”

Schmit will be awarded a $2,000 stipend and a waiver of the registration fee to attend the 2019 WIDA annual conference in Providence, R.I., in mid-October, where she will collaborate with other WIDA fellows and provide WIDA and ICMEE with practitioner feedback.

The next meeting is set for 5:30 p.m. Aug. 12.