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School calendar set PDF Print E-mail
Written by Brenda Johnson Brandt   
Wednesday, 14 March 2012 11:06

A calendar with 175 student days was adopted by Holyoke School District Re-1J Board of Education for 2012-13 at its March 6 meeting.

The calendar includes a two-week Christmas break and a four-day break around Easter and incorporates 190 teacher contract days with a 40-hour work week.

Two other calendars were in the final running for consideration. One 175-day calendar included a full-week spring break and the other involved 180 student days.

Board member Kim Killin acknowledged individuals who supported the two options which weren’t selected all have valid points. “We all want the best for our kids,” she added, noting there wasn’t a bad option among the three choices.

Jeff Tharp pointed out the one commodity which is extremely precious is time. As a result, the calendar discussion becomes a personal, emotional issue which is extremely difficult.

Kris Camblin said people he talked with were split 50/50 in terms of wanting a longer Christmas break or a full-week spring break. Tharp reiterated any calendar that’s adopted is going to be met with some disapproval at some level.

Linda Jelden said issues have been raised around both the calendar and teacher contracts. She emphasized these are two different conversations, and she hopes dialog will continue at the building level for some of the issues brought forward.


Leadership team recommends grading pilot move forward with policy

Giving the regular monthly update of the grading pilot, Supt. Bret Miles said it was a leadership team (LT) consensus in its February meeting to move forward with policy.

LT chair Angie Powell attended the board meeting for the report.

Miles said the LT reviewed survey data and shared insights and comments from colleagues about the program. Survey data indicated there are still logistical and consistency issues to address, but that’s more of a focus on implementation rather than policy.

Killin mentioned they’ll need to take a look at how to broaden the assistance at the homework centers, especially at the elementary school. This, however, won’t be addressed in policy, but in logistics.

A timeline was presented by the LT that will have this topic before the board for the next five meetings.

The timeline involves introducing a draft policy, board discussion, introduction of the proposed policy after feedback, first reading and the second/final reading.


Policies reviewed

Supt. Miles gave an update on the development of two Section G hiring policies at last week’s board meeting.

Discussion was tabled earlier to allow time to research what goes into the Colorado Dept. of Education (CDE) fingerprinting background check. An attorney was able to verify the CDE fingerprinting check does include state and federal databanks.

The two policies with proposed exhibits will return to the March 20 meeting agenda.

After the regular meeting, the board held a work session last Tuesday to begin discussion on Section I policies on instruction.

Thirty-five policies were reviewed and will return to the board for first reading at a future meeting.

Supt. Miles noted most of the big policies (graduation requirements, post-secondary education options and grading) were approved last year or are in process with other groups.


Other business

In other business at the March 6 meeting, the Re-1J board:

—approved Kyle Stumpf as elementary principal and Susan Ortner as JR/SR High principal for the 2012-13 school year, acknowledging the way they’ve handled things this past year.

—hired Terri Biersdorfer as Holyoke Elementary School library paraprofessional for the remainder of the school year.

—acknowledged the following gifts to the district: $50 from Zion Lutheran Church for the TV Productions class for its help with setup for Regan Murray’s funeral; and scholarship donations from the Heginbotham Trust and the Leland Trust for the Washington, D.C. trip sponsored by two local social studies teachers. Students will apply for the scholarships by writing an essay.

Holyoke Enterprise March 15, 2012