Hayden may end yearbook tradition

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— Owners of Hayden High School yearbooks may be in possession of a last of a kind.

Discussion at Wednesday's Hayden Board of Education meeting revolved around the impractical cost of putting out a yearbook.

"The yearbook has been a pain financially since as long as I can remember," Superintendent Scott Mader said. The Hayden school district pays $7,500 a year to print the books, but fewer than 50 of the $30 copies are sold.

Board members universally felt that timing was a factor in the poor sales.

Most yearbooks are published at the end of the school year in time for graduation, but the Hayden High School yearbook doesn't come out until later, allowing it to include all spring activities.

The school still owes $4,000 for the 2000-01 yearbook.

Hayden High School Principal Nick Schafer suggested the school consider buying a color-quality printer and self-publishing the book.

The suggestion was well received, but board members were equally receptive to a second idea of publishing on a CD with an accompanying signature book.

No decision was made.

Mader also announced a possible new location for the S.M.A.R.T. School, an experimental program that allows students who have dropped out or fallen behind a chance to graduate.

Students sign up for online classes and are supervised by high school staff.

Mader has been looking at a modular classroom building located behind the Mission of Grace Baptist Church on Sunflower Drive. The building has two classrooms, bathrooms and an office space. The church council has shown interest in letting the school use the building if it promises to pay heating, lighting and liability insurance. Details such as rent or other compensation have yet to be discussed.

Members of the board mentioned other locations in town, but Mader remained convinced the church building was ideal.

It had been discussed among school administrators that the program would be more successful if it was moved off campus.

This year's S.M.A.R.T. School will have 12 students, similar to last year, but there will be several changes.

"What we tried last year just wasn't working," Mader said. "They weren't getting enough work done."

This year students will take classes from 10 a.m. to noon and have the afternoon to complete work.

The new high school biology teacher will act as their supervisor.

Throughout the entire meeting, high school U.S. history teacher Ty Zabel waited for his turn to speak.

He has attended Board of Education meetings for several months trying to gain approval for a fund-raising program where the school would sell guided hunting trips on donated land.

He has approached Peabody Coal Co. and is still waiting for an answer.

Even though he didn't have the commitment from Peabody that would assure the board's approval, he attended the meeting to show he "hadn't dropped the ball."

The money earned from the hunting trips would be used for "place-based learning" aimed at Hayden students who were planning to stay in the area rather than attending college.

In other business, Kevin Kleckler promised the athletic handbook would be finished at the next meeting and will be in the hands of the board by then.

Schafer announced the discovery of a new job advertising Web site used by the district had brought an unprecedented number of applicants for next year's teaching positions.

The 2002-03 fiscal year proposed budget was also approved.

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