Tuesday, September 14, 2004
Despite budget cuts and a smaller staff, students at Hayden Valley Elementary School are getting equal doses of physical education and music every day, superintendent Mike Luppes said. Luppes will discuss the elementary school situation during tonight's Hayden School Board meeting -- its first of the school year.
Facing a lack of funding, the board decided last spring not to renew former P.E. teacher Mike Powell's position, instead appointing teacher Michelle Wilkie to teach music and P.E. at the school.
At the time, district officials thought they would provide elementary school students each subject every other day, Luppes said. Since then, however, the district has determined students will get lessons in both subjects every school day, just as they have in the past, Luppes said.
That means Wilkie will have less time for planning, but the board will discuss tonight how to compensate her for the required planning periods, Luppes said.
"We're fairly certain we can make this work," he said.
Board members also plan to approve Hayden Valley Elementary School Title 1 reading teacher Rhonda Sweetser's assumption of some leadership responsibility at the school. She will be helping Luppes, who has been working double duty as the school's principal and as district superintendent, a job he took when former superintendent Scott Mader resigned.
Sweetser and Luppes will lead the elementary school until the district searches for a new principal in the spring.
Also tonight, the board will consider a request by Rio Blanco County rancher Tom Benjamin to extend the school bus route to accommodate his ranch manager's children.
The bus currently stops about 12 miles from Benjamin's ranch, located about 27 miles from Hayden, requiring ranch manager Lebo Loya to drive 48 miles a day to drop off and pick up his two children from the bus stop, Benjamin said.
The board agreed to look into possible arrangements, including whether the state might compensate Loya for the mileage. The board's discussion will focus only on that particular bus route, Luppes said.
Tonight's board's agenda is light compared to past meetings marked by major discussions and decision regarding administration. But questions remain about whether the board might have better communicated district issues and actions to the public in previous months.
At the request of concerned parents, the School Board plans to discuss how communication within the district might be improved during a work session scheduled for Sept. 29. The discussion will focus on the dynamics of School and District Improvement teams, which are designed to give parents and staff a voice in district issues.
Starting tonight, School Board meetings will be held in the high school videoconference room across from the main office instead of in the middle school as in the past. Residents can access the room from the gym lobby entrance.
-- To reach Tamera Manzanares, call 871-4204 or e-mail email@example.com.