Granby " East Grand School District considers two calendar options
March 24, 2009
With several items before the East Grand School District’s Board of Education, the public is being encouraged to attend its regular meetings.
At last Tuesday’s meeting the District Accountability Committee presented two options for the next few school years. The school board meets at 6 p.m. the first and third Tuesday, and a meeting to discuss the matter further is scheduled March 31 in the administration office. The meeting takes place of the April 7 meeting when the school is closed for spring break.
Option 1 starts the next three school years two weeks before Labor Day, which predominantly accommodates the high school. Committee members said the option allows for additional time to release report cards and is optimal for weather and summer jobs.
Option 2 begins the school years one week before the Labor Day holiday (as it has been in the past). The first semester would end before the winter holiday break, coaching schedules would align with the teachers’, and the years would be more similar to Front Range schools and activities.
Results were very close on which option people preferred (from a survey conducted on the EGSD Web site and compiled by three board committees). Of 716 respondents (including parents, students, staff and community members), 40.9 percent said they wanted to keep the calendar the way it is.
In regard to possibly shortening Thanksgiving break, 46.1 percent were in favor of the idea, which would make room for a break in February.
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“One size doesn’t fit all,” said DAC chairperson Molly Jordan. “It has to be one size fits best.” In addition to the survey results, other items the board wanted to take into consideration included the fact that with Option 2 teachers might lose time for instruction before finals.
“It’s never an easy task to meet the diverse needs of everyone,” said Dr. James Chamberlin, director of student achievement. The board agreed the matter needed to be discussed more and taken back to the staff for its input.
In other action items last Tuesday:
– The board voted to adopt golf as a school sport at Middle Park High School (two votes against). The program has been a CHSAA -sanctioned sport for MPHS students for the last three years, with 16 participants last fall.
– Taking into account a need for the district to tighten its financial belt, Athletic Director Marlo Klassen said there has been some discussion of slimming down coaching staff. MPHS’s one-coach-to-10-athletes ratio exceeds what similar school districts have, he explained.
Superintendent Nancy Karas voiced concern that moving to one coach per 15 students might affect the safety of the sports programs. The staff and administration agreed they’d rather cut coaching staff and have the programs.
– Karas and Chamberlin have been making the rounds at all the schools to inform staff of the district’s upcoming financial challenges. With the severity of several key financial issues up in the air, the two have broken down where funds come from, how much is coming in, and what those funds are used for.
“Everything’s on the table,” Karas said.
She further noted several budget possibilities show projected revenue shortfalls in the upcoming school years. With the final outcome still up in the air (due to a wait to hear on the state stipend, and the stimulus on top of that), every department has been prompted to look at what each is willing to give up to stay “fiscally responsible.”
Other items covered include:
– Continued discussion of a proposed performance contract renewal with the Honeywell company. EGSD Facilities Director John Weninger said the company, through its previous contract, has diverted quite a few of the district’s heating costs. Problems will always surface, he pointed out and “With them there I think there’s a lot of problems we can avoid. If it can take a chunk out of a bill, I don’t see any reason why we shouldn’t (renew).” If the school board approves moving forward with the company, there could be an audit to reach a cost-neutral plan, followed by a wind study for a proposed turbine plant.
– Unanimous approval of: A leave request for Lindsay Jarzynka, Fraser Valley Elementary School second-grade teacher; as well as resignations from Jennifer Bauckman (Granby Elementary School fourth-grade teacher), Brian Dill (East Grand Middle School music teacher), and Darci Hale (EGMS fifth-grade teacher).