Hayden Students from four area high schools will be surveyed to get their input on a vocational and alternative education center that school officials are interested in.
Students attending Hayden, Steamboat Springs, Soroco and Moffat County high schools will be asked about their perspective on the trade school idea.
"We want to find out if the students are interested in a vocational school and what type of courses they would be interested in taking," said Nick Schafer, Hayden High School principal.
Officials are hopeful the students in the ninth, 10th and 11th grades attending the four schools will be surveyed in time for the group's next meeting in April.
"We are getting conflicting information," Schafer said when asked why the students need to be surveyed. "Some think a vocational school is wanted and others do not."
School officials representing each of the four districts are working on a uniformed survey that will be dispersed to the four schools.
"We plan on color coding the surveys, so we will know which surveys are from which school," Schafer said.
Along with the surveys, a group of school officials from the four districts plan to visit vocational schools in Grand Junction and Delta.
Schafer is making arrangements for the trip and is hopeful it can be done by the end of the month.
It is the intention of the group to get more information about the impacts a vocational school can have on a community or county.
"We want to look at what type students these two schools are getting and what type of jobs they are looking for," he said. "We want to look at what type of classes these schools offer and how they run things."
Representatives of the four districts are also examining ways of funding a school here and possible locations.
All of the school officials agree funding is a major obstacle of the project.
"How do we fund it and pay for it?" Schafer said. "That is the key."
School officials have also investigated possible locations for a school in Hayden and in Oak Creek.
"We have looked around for property, but we are not at that stage yet," said Scott Mader, Hayden superintendent. "This is going to be a slow process. This is a big undertaking."
Dan Birch, president of the Steamboat Springs School District, believes a vocational school needs to be looked into further.
"My belief is that maybe there are more things we could do" to better serve students with vocational need, Birch said during a Monday meeting with Routt County officials. "The idea is premature and it's too early to say" if a vocational center would work.
"Maybe it happens down the road."
Schafer, who proposed the idea, believes each school is committed to thoroughly examine the issue.
"This is coming along," he said. "There is a lot of enthusiasm."
Schafer made the proposal in January because he believes a vocational school and alternative education center needs to be developed for students interested in vocational fields and for dropouts in this part of the state.
Acting as a coordinator for the four district in this project is Jane Toothaker, who is the executive director of the Board of Cooperative Educational Services.
Representatives from the four school districts will meet again at 1 p.m. April 16 at Steamboat Springs High School.
School officials are hopeful the survey results will be available, and officials will have more information regarding possible funding mechanisms.