Parents to bring concerns to board

Hayden School Board holding meeting tonight

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A group of parents that has organized to discuss problems in the Hayden School District may address some of their concerns to the School Board tonight.

The board has scheduled time to hear comments from the group, which met Tuesday night and June 8 to talk about worries and rumors circulating since Hayden High School Principal Nick Schafer resigned in late May.

"There are some slanderous rumors going around that need to be put out, but others are valid issues that parents need to be informed of," said Dana Haskins, who has helped organize the parent forums.

Parents are upset, she said, and the forums are a way of putting questions and issues on the table to start solving problems. While the presence of School Board members is important, School Board meetings aren't the best venue for parents and members to openly discuss issues, she said.

Several School Board members attended each parent meeting.

"We have gone to an open forum style to allow for two-way communication," Haskins said. "We hope people will get answers to issues, get to know board members better, and the board will hear public comment, which they don't get enough of."

School Board President Kurt Frentress said some rumors might stem from confidentiality issues that prevent the board from discussing personnel issues outside of its private executive sessions. This may cause people to second-guess the board's intentions, he said.

Some suspicion has surrounded Superintendent Scott Mader, whose philosophies and opinions were the main reason for Schafer's decision to leave, Schafer said earlier this month.

Mader, who attended at least one of the parents' meetings, said the forums might help dispel some rumors but not all untruths.

"There are always going to be rumors in a small town," he said.

In other School Board business, Hayden Valley Elementary Principal Mike Luppes will update the board on parents' willingness to help pay for a proposed full-time kindergarten program.

The board also will discuss, and possibly approve, a new literacy curriculum for the district. Accreditation for Hayden schools also will be up for discussion and approval. The state requires all school districts to have an accreditation procedure to ensure students perform at or above state averages on the Colorado Student Assessment Program tests.

Also at the meeting, the board will accept the resignations of school personnel including Schafer and Hayden Middle School teacher Linda Wilson, who accepted a math teaching position at Steamboat Springs Middle School.

Cyberschool coordinator Paul Van Horn and Hayden Middle School girls basketball coach Michelle Wilkie also have resigned. Wilkie has taken a job as the Hayden Valley Elementary School music and physical education teacher.

The School Board meeting will be at 7 p.m. in the school administration building.

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