School board to vote on audit, review policies

Board members to review possible changes to the district's tobacco policies.

Joshua Kellogg
Different flavors for E-cigarettes are shown at The Vapor Zone on Dustin Avenue in Farmington. Aztec school officials will be reviewing their polices on tobacco use on school property later this week

FARMINGTON – Aztec school board members will vote Thursday on approving the district’s financial audit report and will review possible changes to the district’s tobacco policies.

The Aztec Municipal School District Board of Education will vote on the approval of the district’s 2014-2015 financial audit report during its meeting Thursday night in the district’s administrative building board room.

District Finance Director Gary Martinez said the audit report is possibly the first audit to contain zero findings for the district and the charter school the Mosaic Academy. The Mosaic Academy is included in the financial audit because the school is chartered through the district, Martinez said.

“I think it’s something the district can be proud of,” Martinez said.  “I think we do a good job on focusing our efforts to utilize the dollars available to us.”

According to the audit report for the 2013-2014 school year, the district had three findings, and the Mosaic Academy had two. Martinez said the district resolved the three findings from that report.

Board members also will review updates to the district’s tobacco policies to remain in compliance with state statute, Superintendent Kirk Carpenter said. The board will likely vote on the changes during the March 10 meeting.

Changes were made to the New Mexico Administrative Code in December 2015 that requires the district to update its policies regarding tobacco use by students and staff members on school premises, Carpenter said. The policy updates came from a policy advisory issued by the New Mexico School Board Association.

The updated policies go into specific detail regarding the use, possession and distribution of tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, nicotine liquid containers, and alcoholic beverages and illicit drugs.

Current district policy is less specific, using the term “man-made tobacco derivatives,” to describe e-cigarettes and other electronic smoking devices. The policies were last updated in January 2014.

A sign with a list of prohibited items will be installed at the entrance of school buildings and athletic facilities across the district.

Joshua Kellogg covers education for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627.