School year likely won’t change |

School year likely won’t change

Hayden board tables decision until January meeting

Danie Harrelson

— In response to school district employees’ opposition to extending the school year, the Hayden School Board gave an early nod Wednesday evening to keeping the district’s traditional calendar.

The board tabled approval of the 2002-2003 calendar until its January meeting but clearly defined its intention not to change the dates students begin or finish classes next year.

The Hayden School District earlier suggested adding a few more days beginning next fall to give teachers more opportunities for in-service days.

Teachers and staff, however, voiced a different opinion.

Hayden Superintendent Scott Mader surveyed district employees to determine how they would react to a longer calendar.

Rough estimates showed only 16 of 58 staff favored a change, he said.

“It’s pretty overwhelming that they wanted to keep the traditional calendar,” Mader said.

School board members who received feedback about the district’s suggestion said parents did not favor a change either.

“Everyone I talked to didn’t want to go with anything different,” Board President Kurt Frentress said.

The traditional calendar begins after Labor Day and ends before Memorial Day. An extended calendar would have required pushing back starting the year before Labor Day or stretching it beyond Memorial Day.

The only change the board decided to pursue for the 2002-2003 calendar will be slightly different dates for spring break.

Spring break traditionally runs the last week of March.

By moving those days back or forward one week, the school district could better align its athletic calendar to neighboring school districts’ calendar, Mader said.

Soroco, North Park and Kremmling’s sport schedules might mesh better with Hayden’s if the board approved the move, he added.

“It’s advantageous for us to pursue something like this,” he said.

Employees with spouses and children in those districts, Mader said, would favor spending their spring vacation together than apart.

The board held off on a decision until next month to determine when neighboring districts would hold their spring breaks in 2003.

In other business, the board discussed selling a small portion of its land located along Breeze Basin Boulevard to the town of Hayden.

The town wants to purchase 1.14 acres of school district land to improve the future safety of pedestrians and motorists in Hayden by changing the flow of some of its streets.

The transfer of property would allow for the realignment of Third Street and Breeze Basin Boulevard.

Children often run or bike across the boulevard on their way to Valley Elementary School in the morning and afternoon, increasing the opportunities that place them in harm’s way.

“It’s a good thing for the community,” Mader said. “Everyone knows it’s a dangerous intersection.”

The town must pay for an appraisal on the land, and the board can then accept or reject the proposed amount.

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