New phone system sought

Hayden School District wants to upgrade its technology

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— Before the Hayden School District can improve its connection to the future rise in information technology, it must first obtain a physical connection.

The district currently uses an outdated phone system that raises some doubts about its reliability.

Superintendent Scott Mader said inspections of the phone system have brought forth concern that the system could crash at any time.

Tonight the Hayden School Board will discuss the possibility of the district obtaining federal funds to help pay for a new phone system.

The district would like to connect its school buildings with fiber-optic cable.

A trench must first be dug so the cable can run between Hayden Valley Elementary School and the middle and high school buildings.

School districts can apply for federal refunds on improvements to their phone systems.

The federal government, however, uses an unlikely standard to dole out its funding.

The number of students who receive free and reduced lunches determines which districts receive the federal money, Mader said.

The chance of the district receiving the funding is not certain, he said.

"There is no guarantee," Mader said.

Because free and reduced lunches help the district, the district has considered sending out another survey to encourage more students to enroll in the program.

Teachers and administrators currently have no voice mail, and messages must be taken by hand.

"We don't have the formal technology," he said.

In other business, the board will finalize the district's calendar for the 2002-2003 school year.

The board earlier considered extending the end of the school year beyond Memorial Day or pushing it back before Labor Day.

Board members tentatively decided against an extended calendar at their December meeting but wanted to hold off on approving the calendar until their January meeting.

"It's pretty much consensus that we don't want to change anything," said Board President Kurt Frentress.

The district's spring break will stay the same, and several other districts, such as Kremmling, may align their spring breaks to the district's dates.

"It would be nice if everybody had their spring break about the same time," Frentress added.

School board member Brian Hoza, the board's representative for the Board of Cooperative Educational Services, plans to report on a recent grant by BOCES to assist schools in putting together action plans to improve students' math scores.

BOCES wants to assist schools in upping students' performances in math in response to low math scores on the CSAP tests.

"It's a focus that BOCES has selectively chosen to put more time into," Hoza said.

The grant will provide a nine-day training course for 40 to 45 teachers and three separate one-day courses for 25 teachers.

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