Teacher, district reach settlement | SteamboatToday.com

Teacher, district reach settlement

Gary E. Salazar

— A Hayden high school teacher whose position was cut this summer by the School Board has agreed to drop an appeal in return for a settlement.

The Hayden School Board took action on an agreement Monday night the district has reached with Don Toy, Superintendent Scott Mader said.

Toy, who was appealing the district’s decision to cut his teaching position, has agreed to forego the appeal process and accept a settlement, Mader said.

Mader would not discuss the details of the agreement because it is not final.

District officials are waiting for Toy to sign the agreement to make it official, Mader said.

Mader is expecting for the signed agreement to arrive in the mail in the next couple of days. Toy could not be reached for comment.

At the administration’s recommendation, the School Board has decided to reduce the district’s work force by two teachers.

The decisions are the result of a declining enrollment and a budget that is expected to decrease by more than $160,000 next year.

To save about $72,000, the district cut Toy’s position and a vacant elementary special education position.

Toy went through the proper procedures to have the matter heard by a hearing officer.

Because of the negotiated agreement, the hearing will not be needed, Mader said.

With Toy’s departure, psychology, sociology, American wars and Western civilization will not be offered to students this fall.

Of the classes, Western civilization was the only course offered to students for college credit. Students interested in taking Western civilization, psychology or sociology will have the option to take these classes through the district’s agreement with Colorado Northwestern Community College. Students can take these courses and earn not only high school credit but also college credit. The students will also have their tuition paid for by the district if they pass the course, Mader said.

Administration targeted the social studies department because it is an area they could scale back without impacting core classes needed for graduation, Mader said.

The reason the district has to make the cuts is because next year enrollment from a large class will no longer be figured in the district’s four-year average.

For the 1998 school year, the district had an enrollment of 554 students. Since that time, enrollment has declined each year. In 1999, enrollment decreased to 520 students.

Last year, enrollment dropped to 469 students, and this year school officials are expecting a decrease of two students.

Come next year, the district will no longer be able to count on the 1998 enrollment, and Mader is estimating the district will lose close to $160,000 next year.

To prepare for the expected loss, the district moved forward this summer with making cuts to its teaching force, Mader said.

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