Photo by Zach Fridell
Parents listen as Linda Archuleta tells the Hayden School Board how she values the time she has with her grandchildren during the summer. Board members rejected a proposed change that would have started school in Hayden before Labor Day.
Hayden Hayden School Board members drew a round of applause from more than a dozen parents Wednesday night as they rejected a proposed change to the school calendar to start two days earlier.
Superintendent Greg Rockhold submitted a draft calendar that would have moved two days from Thanksgiving week forward, to start the year before Labor Day.
The proposal won support from Hayden high school and middle school staff, but elementary teachers were less enthusiastic. Parents who spoke at the meeting unanimously opposed the change.
"We are ranchers. We're not Steamboat (Springs), and we're not Craig," said Linda Archuleta. "You can have my grandbabies for nine months. I get them for three."
Rockhold proposed the change based on attendance records during the two days of school during Thanksgiving week.
"I know the kids aren't into it. It's a waste of time," he said.
He instead proposed moving the two days to the beginning of the year so that teachers could pass out books and go over rules before the first full week.
"The first day or two, not a whole lot happens there," he said.
Parents responded that they would rather take the normal three days off at Thanksgiving as long as it meant keeping the summer intact.
"With kids that do a lot in 4-H and a lot in the summer, I treasure it," said Tammie Delaney.
Delaney said the school year should be bounded by Labor Day and Memorial Day, with the time in the middle available for classes however administrators choose.
Wednesday's meeting was the first chance for the community to discuss the proposed changes. Some parents complained about a lack of communication regarding the proposal.
The idea was presented to staff and was on the agenda for a school improvement meeting at the elementary school, but no parents attended the most recent meeting, said Hayden Valley Elementary Principal Rhonda Sweetser.
School Board members discussed postponing the decision until a future meeting, but member Kurt Frentress instead moved to use the schedule from last year. The five board members approved the motion unanimously.