School Board has full agenda

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The Steamboat Springs School Board has a lot more to do tonight than act on the Senior Odyssey program and a proposed Bible elective at Steamboat Springs High School.

In addition to those items, the most controversial on the agenda, School Board members are scheduled to rule on items including mid-year graduations for four high school students, a proposed articulated foreign language program, two new career and technology classes for the high school and annual school accreditations.

What: Meeting of the Steamboat Springs School Board

When: 6:30 p.m. today

Where: Steamboat Springs High School, in the commons area, 45 Maple St.

The location was chosen to accommodate a large expected public turnout. The board is scheduled to take action Monday night on curriculum issues including the high school's Senior Odyssey program and a proposed high school elective class that would teach the Bible as a historical and cultural document.

Superintendent Donna Howell has recommended that the School Board approve mid-year graduations for students Alexander Berger, Laura Brees, Greg Jansen and Jason Powell. The students presented their senior projects, a culmination of the Odyssey program, earlier this month to a panel including Howell, School Board President Tom Miller-Freutel, high school principal Mike Knezevich and other high school staff, district administrators, community members and parents.

The proposed articulated foreign language program, recommended by the district's Curriculum and Instruction Program Review Committee, would integrate Spanish into kindergarten through fifth-grade classes at district schools and expand language requirements at Steamboat Springs Middle School. New staff and materials for the program would cost $110,000, according to the committee's recommendation. About $50,000 of that would be for a full-time staff position, including benefits, at the middle school. That money will be requested from the Education Fund Board, pending School Board approval of the program.

The committee also recommends that board members approve two new career and technology classes at the high school: fundamentals of design and medical preparation. If approved, the classes would begin in the next school year.

The School Board also is scheduled to rule on accreditation for each district school for the next three years, a process the board is required to complete every year in January. To continue their full accreditation, Howell said, schools must meet three of four criteria. Those criteria are that 80 percent of the goals made by the School Accountability Committee the previous year are met or exceeded, school attendance is at least 90 percent, progress is reported on the school's education plan, and the school receives a School Accountability Report rating from the state of "high" or "excellent."

Howell said details about this year's accreditations will be given at Monday's meeting.

-- To reach Mike Lawrence call 871-4203

or e-mail mlawrence@steamboatpilot.com

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