Steamboat seeks input on school calendar

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— The Steamboat Springs School District is seeking parent and community input on calendars it is proposing for the 2012-13 school year.

The two proposals are identical to this year’s calendar with the exception of two parent-teacher conference days in November and the transition of Soda Creek and Strawberry Park elementary schools from a quarterly to a trimester schedule.

Soda Creek Principal Michele Miller said Tuesday that the move to a trimester schedule will give parents a chance to receive more timely and complete report cards on their students during scheduled parent-teacher conferences.

“This is something we’ve thought about doing for several years,” Miller said. “The reaction I’ve gotten from teachers has been positive.”

However, the proposed calendars would change little districtwide.

Draft A of the calendar schedules parent teacher conferences Nov. 8, and Draft B schedules two days of parent-teacher conferences Nov. 19 and 20, immediately before the start of Thanksgiving break Nov. 21.

School Board President Brian Kelly said those dates could prove to be controversial.

“We personally were out of town (this year) on those same days. A lot of families are,” Kelly said. “That seems to be the weak link of that calendar.”

The School Board will discuss and adopt one of the calendars at the Feb. 6 meeting.

In the meantime, Superintendent Brad Meeks is accepting feedback on the proposals and said Monday that he has received 50 emails about the calendars from parents, teachers and community members since the proposals were posted online last week.

“There are pros and cons with any of these calendars,” Meeks said. “Most of the time, when you get down to a couple of calendars, the support between them is divided 50-50. But once you get a calendar that seems to work with the district, you’re going to try to stick with it and make it work.”

Community members can view the calendars at www.sssd.k12.co.us and send feedback to Meeks at bmeeks@steamboatschools.net.

Blues Break

Meeks said many of the comments he has received about the calendars so far focus on a week of vacation the district is not proposing to change. He said parents and community members are weighing in on Blues Break, a weeklong break from school that next year is scheduled to run from Feb. 18 and 22.

“The Blues Break has been commented on as much as anything,” he said. “Some people are saying we should do away with it to get (students) out of school earlier (for summer), while others suggest we shorten it to a long weekend.”

Meeks said the board will discuss the 2013-14 calendar shortly after it adopts the 2012-13 calendar next month.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210 or email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com

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