Hayden teachers to propose moving school start date to before Labor Day | SteamboatToday.com

Hayden teachers to propose moving school start date to before Labor Day

Jack Weinstein

— The Hayden School Board is scheduled to discuss tonight whether to change the district's 2011-12 calendar to start school before Labor Day.

Superintendent Mike Luppes said a group of teachers asked last month that the School Board postpone its approval of the calendar, which ordinarily takes place this month. He said they wanted to share their proposal with other district faculty and staff members before presenting it to School Board members.

The presentation also would allow members of the community to provide feedback about the proposed calendar, Luppes said. He said the School Board wouldn't consider approving the calendar tonight, instead deferring action until next month.

Luppes said Hayden traditionally has started after Labor Day and ended by Memorial Day, at least since he joined the district in 1987. He said discussions to change the calendar or keep it the same have occurred many times during his tenure, with passion on both sides of the debate.

"If you want to get some heated discussions in the Hayden School District, bring up starting before Labor Day," he said. "That will get her going."

The School Board also is scheduled to discuss and consider whether to change the Hayden Secondary Schools woodworking program. Luppes has said the district would like to create a building trades program with the eventual goal of building a house each year. He has said next year would be a planning year, with the new program to start in 2012-13.

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If board members approve the change, they will consider laying off woodworking teacher Jeff Steinsberger. Because Steinsberger is in his fifth year with the district, he is considered nonprobationary, which means he has tenure and is protected by state law.

To lay him off, the School Board would need to approve a reduction in force, which state law permits for several conditions, including a program change.

School Board members also are scheduled to discuss:

■ Whether to repair or demolish the middle school gymnasium this summer. The gym was condemned before the 2009-10 school year because it was deemed unsafe.

■ Scheduling a meeting with the Hayden Education Association, the teachers union, about 2011-12 contracts. Luppes said he would propose a salary step increase and the elimination of this year's three furlough days.

■ The 2011-12 budget, which the district needs to cut by nearly $100,000 after applying a mill levy override worth nearly $322,000 that voters approved in November.

■ Whether to support an Education Fund Board study about the possibility of consolidating the Routt County school districts, which is scheduled for discussion at the Fund Board's next meeting in May.

To reach Jack Weinstein, call 970-871-4203 or email jweinstein@SteamboatToday.com

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