Hayden School Board rejects separate calendars for its campuses | SteamboatToday.com

Hayden School Board rejects separate calendars for its campuses

— A group of parents told the Hayden School Board on Wednesday that they didn't want separate calendars for their elementary and secondary school students in 2012-13.

And the School Board agreed with them.

The board voted, 3-2, to reject a proposed calendar that would have added nine class days for secondary school students while keeping the elementary school schedule the same. The board then voted, 3-2, to stick with the district's traditional calendar for both campuses.

About seven parents told the School Board that the proposed changes to the calendar would have added an unnecessary expense of running buses for secondary school students on the nine extra days. The school district estimated that expense would total to about $8,000.

Parents and board members who opposed the split calendar also said it would have placed a burden on about 40 families who have children at both the elementary school and secondary schools. Under the split calendar, elementary school students would not have attended school on eight days that the secondary school students were in class.

"The split calendar doesn't affect me directly, but I do think that it is going to be a hardship for kids and parents to find day care on those days," parent Laurie Hallenbeck said.

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Superintendent Mike Luppes said the district's calendar committee this year came up with the split schedule because secondary school staff wanted more class days to work with their students, but the elementary school wanted to keep its schedule the same.

"Quite honestly, we were not able to come up with a single calendar that met everybody's needs" during the five months we discussed proposals, Luppes told the School Board.

Secondary Schools Principal Gina Zabel said the added class days for middle and high school students would benefit them.

"The needs between the two campuses are different," Zabel said. "What we're proposing at the secondary level is not better or worse than the elementary schedule, it's just different. We're looking at a schedule that is going to help us meet the different needs of our students."

Zabel and Luppes were hoping the School Board would move away from the traditional calendar.

"I'm disappointed for our secondary school staff," Luppes said after the split schedule was rejected. "They were really hoping to add some school days, and this (proposed calendar) was a solution. But it was a solution that brought with it some issues."

School Board President Brian Hoza and board member Vance Fulton voted to change the calendar, while board members Sharon Nereson, Tim Frentress and Kurt Frentress voted to stick with the traditional version.

Fulton said he understood the concerns about the proposal, but he still thought it was a better option than the current schedule.

"I think this is necessary to try and improve our academic achievement," Fulton said about the split calendar.

The School Board last year also voted, 3-2, against changing its calendar. That rejected proposal would have moved the start of school before Labor Day to add eight extra class days for students, and it was supported by secondary schools teachers but opposed by elementary school teachers.

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

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