Steamboat Springs The first day of school went swimmingly, that high schoolers seemed calm given the end of summer vacation, middle school students were enthusiastic, and only a few parents were shedding tears in front of the elementary school as they bid their new kindergartners goodbye for half a day. That was the essence of the report Superintendent Cyndy Simms gave at a Steamboat Springs School Board study session meeting Monday night.
The School Board kicked off the first official day of classes with several issues regarding finances for the 2000-2001 school year.
At a meeting next month, the Routt County Board of Commissioners will meet with representatives from each of the county's school district boards, Colorado Northwestern Community College and Colorado Mountain College, as well as each district's superintendent, to discuss the half-cent sales tax collected in Steamboat Springs for the Education Fund Board.
The group meets regularly to discuss education issues in the county, but has added the sales-tax discussion as an additional agenda item to determine to what extent the $1.5 million can be shared between south Routt, Steamboat and Hayden schools.
When the ballot issue was floated seven years ago, School Board member Millie Beall said, it was understood that the funds could indeed be used county-wide. In fact, RE-2 district grant writer Lynn Myers, whose salary is funded by the sales tax, was hired by all three districts and has successfully written grants for all. The Education Fund Board authorized Myers' services to all the county's districts.
The question remains, however, as to whether the funds can be shared in additional ways in the future. Initially, the fund was proposed to provide Steamboat with ways to cope with technology advances and growth in the schools.
In other action, a community audit team report originally scheduled for last night's meeting was canceled because the audits were not ready. The audit committee consists of community members without children in the district schools in order to maintain a sense of objectivity in auditing last year's financial activities.
The team report will be presented at the Sept. 11 School Board meeting instead.
Finally, School Board members, administrative teams, faculty and parents alike are waiting with bated breath for a count of how many students showed up for school Monday. The district's first unofficial count will not be available until the first Friday after Labor Day, when sufficient time has been allowed to settle which students have moved without reporting it and which students have not yet officially enrolled.
Student enrollment will determine each school's budget, which are based on per-pupil funding.
To reach Bonnie Nadzam call 871-4205 or e-mail email@example.com