Kremmling " Parent asks W. Grand School Board to close high school campus | SkyHiNews.com

Kremmling " Parent asks W. Grand School Board to close high school campus

Will Bublitz
Sky-Hi Daily News

A proposal to close the campus at West Grand High School in Kremmling was discussed during the school board’s meeting Tuesday, April 9.

In presenting the proposal, parent Margie Wass asked the West Grand board to close the high school campus for 9th and 10th graders starting next school year. Juniors and seniors would still be allowed to leave school grounds during the lunch period.

The goal of the proposal is to ensure the safety of students, Wass explained. By closing the campus, she said it would protect freshmen and sophomores from negative “temptations” such as: riding with older students who might have restrictions attached to their license; tardiness and unexcused absences; promiscuity; and the use of drugs and alcohol.

Wass pointed to a recent incident involving several West Grand High students who were involved in an accident and had to be taken to Kremmling Memorial Hospital for treatment of their injuries.

“Does Kremmling need a serious injury, or worse yet, a death of a student before we look at closing or partially closing the high school campus?” she said. “Let’s be proactive and keep our students safe before the fact instead of reacting after the fact.”

In advocating for a closed campus, Wass said she recognized it may have a “negative impact” on some Kremmling businesses, but had already contacted two restaurants willing to accept take-out orders and deliver the food to the high school.

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She said this would also help prevent students from making “unhealthy lunch choices” such as sodas and candy bars.

Wass said that several parents of current 8th and 9th graders supported the proposal that would start next fall. However, a couple of other parents at Tuesday’s meeting said they had heard about it and were there to voice their opposition.

Brigitti Cannon said she wanted West Grand High’s open campus to remain open for all of its students.

“For my family, it’s been very positive,” she said. “It gives our students the chance to get some fresh air and spend time outside with a friend. To take that away now would be detrimental.”

Another parent, Bryan Hartman, agreed.

“One of the things kids should learn when going to high school is responsibility,” he said. “If you close down the campus and keep them inside, they will learn nothing.”

Reacting to the discussion, Board President Larry Banman said the board was not ready to make any decision on the proposal. Superintendent Jeff Perry said it would be brought back possibly as an action item at the board’s next meeting on May 20.

In other business at Tuesday’s meeting, the school board approved the school calendar for the 2008-09 school year. It has 152 instructional days, which is eight days more than the East Grand School District.

The one significant change is that while maintaining its standard Monday- through-Thursday, four-day school week schedule, next year’s calendar requires regular classes to be held on five Fridays during the first half of the school year.

Those five Fridays are: Aug. 15, Sept. 5, Oct. 3, Nov. 7 and Dec. 5.

The first day of school will be Wednesday, Aug. 13. The last day of school for students will be Thursday, May 28. Graduation is slated for Saturday, May 23.

The vacation days for next year’s calendar are: Labor Day ” Sept. 1; Thanksgiving ” Nov. 26-28; Winter Break ” Dec. 22-Jan. 2; Spring Break ” March 16-20; and Memorial Day ” May 25.

Also at Tuesday’s meeting, the board briefly discussed the two offers that had been received on the sale of the old West Grand Middle School building. They also discussed some capital construction projects planned for this year as well as staff compensation and benefits.

Perry also reported that the open house for the new West Grand Wellness Center earlier Tuesday evening had been a success, with about 60 residents attending and several signing up for memberships. Located in the old district office building behind West Grand High School, the new fitness center has several weight-lifting and exercise machines.

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