Grant could bring big change

Hayden principal sees a different high school in three years

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— Hayden High School Principal Nick Schafer believes change is needed within his school and that a grant from the U.S. Department of Education could bring those changes.

Schafer, with the help of other school faculty, is working on an application for a Comprehensive School Reform Demonstration Grant.

Schafer believes the three-year grant would be worth between $60,000 and $75,000 a year.

"If we get the grant, the high school will not be the same high school in three years," he said. "It will be very different."

In January, the high school was awarded a $6,800 grant from the state that is being used by the school to work on the federal grant.

"The money is to help us choose a model and also help us with the writing of the grant," he said.

As school officials prepare to apply for the federal grant, they want input from the community on four reform school models school administration has identified.

Schafer wants input from the community in what model the school should implement if the school is awarded the grant.

"We are having a meeting for anyone in town who is interested in what we do," he said. "We want input about the four models we have chosen."

The meeting is set for 7 p.m. Wednesday at Hayden High School, 495 Jefferson Ave. The meeting will be held in the school's auditorium.

The four models the school has identified are geared to improve student achievement and revamp the school's policies regarding discipline and attendance.

Other possible changes include the school's current seven-period day and the academic calendar.

"We have to go about delivering our instruction differently," Schafer said. "How can we improve test scores? What can we do inside this building to make it a better place? The world is changing around us, and we have not kept up with those changes.

"We have been doing the same things for a long time. There needs to be change."

The models the administration has chosen are: High School's that Work, Coalition of Essential Schools, Modern Red Schoolhouse and Expeditionary Learning Outward Bound.

"Once we choose a model," he said, "we will use the grant money to go to other schools to see how they are implementing the model. This will give us a better understanding of the model. Then we will apply for the grant."

If the school is awarded the grant, the money will be available in the fall.

"We can then start implementing a new model," he said. "We can stay the way we are, but there is a lot of room for improvement."

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