School funding in Bayfield used to be funded primarily by property taxes.
Due to state funding shifts and changes in state laws, about 80 percent of Bayfield's school budget now comes from state funds.
"Our structure of funding has shifted fundamentally over the years," said Amy Lyons, the district's interim superintendent.
The Bayfield School Board passed a $14.7 million budget at its Tuesday meeting. Instructional expenditures are the largest expense for the district, making up $8.08 million for 2017-2018.
The construction of a new elementary school and renovation of the current BES are the big projects in the district's capital budget.
In 2016 the district applied for and received a $8.56 million BEST grant from the state to cover about 25 percent of the construction projects, contingent on voters approving a $28.7 million bond issue to cover the rest. That was approved in November 2016 by fewer than than 200 votes. BEST grants focus on health, safety, and security issues. Board members also heard from a consultant with the Colorado Association of School Boards about their upcoming search for a superintendent.
Diana Cirko of Fruita, a former superintendent in Aspen, recommended the board publicize the opening in a "pre-notification," then release a brochure about the district and the position.
Board members need to decide if they want a superintendent with experience in Colorado or the Four Corners, or if they want to take the search nationally, through the National School Board Association.
Lyons, formerly the district's finance director, was named interim superintendent earlier this year and has said she will apply for the permanent position.
In other business, the board heard updates from district staff.
Construction at the new school is 40 percent complete, said Marty Zwisler, the district's construction manager.
This fall's mild weather has been good news for the contractor, as work is being completed on schedule with no weather delays.
Board members also heard a proposal from Bayfield High School seniors to decorate their mortarboards this year for graduation.
Graduates will have to submit their design to a class committee for approval, and if anyone has an offensive or inappropriate design, he or she will need to pay a fine and swap out their mortarboard for a plain one.
"We want to be able to show our hobbies, sports and music," said Savannah Kaufmann, representing the Class of 2018. "We would like to end high school by showing who we are individually."
Board members said they like the idea, with Daniele Hillyer calling it "awesome," and they appreciated the seniors approaching the administration early to see if this is possible.
Principal Leon Hanhardt said he'll make his decision about the request in January.
He and BHS counselors also made a presentation about Choose Kind Week, which was held the week after Thanksgiving.
BHS students got to see the movie "Wonder" in Durango, and they also had guided conversations and wrote essays about sympathy, empathy and how to accept differences in others.
"I think we got kids thinking about it," said Jen Leithauser, a counselor at BHS. The activities set a positive tone at school for the end of the semester, Hanhardt said.
The school board meets on Dec. 15 for a board retreat at the Southern Ute Cultural Center and Museum, then has a work session at 5 p.m. on Dec. 18 to meet with the CASB consultant about their superintendent search.