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2009-01 school calendar proposed for Holyoke School District PDF Print E-mail
Written by Brenda Johnson Brandt   
    Already gearing up for 2009-10, Holyoke Re-1J School Board members reviewed a proposal for next year’s calendar at its March 17 meeting.
    Approval of the calendar will be on a future meeting agenda.
    In the proposal are 173 student-teacher contact days and 190 staff contract days. Students will start school Tuesday, Aug. 18, with the last day being a half day Thursday, May 27, 2010.
    Nine staff inservice days are scheduled on the first Friday of every month, September through May, with no school for students on those days. In January, however, the first Friday falls on Jan. 1, so the staff inservice will be scheduled Monday, Jan. 4, with students returning Tuesday, Jan. 5.
    Additionally, students will not have school on the BOCES inservice day Monday, Sept. 28.
    Vacation days in the proposed calendar include Monday, Sept. 7 for Labor Day; Friday, Oct. 23 after parent-teacher conferences; Nov. 25-27 for Thanksgiving; Monday, Dec. 21 through Friday, Jan. 1 for Christmas (students through Jan. 4); Friday, Feb. 19 during State Wrestling (instead of Monday, Feb. 15 for Presidents Day); Friday, March 19 after parent-teacher conferences; and Friday, April 2 through Monday, April 5 for spring break.
    Students will have only a half day on Friday, Dec. 18 to kick off the holiday break.
    First day for new teachers is proposed for Wednesday, Aug. 12, with staff inservice Aug. 13, 14 and 17. Last day for teachers is Friday, May 28.

Principals, coaches approved
    In personnel matters at last Tuesday’s board meeting, one-year contracts for 2009-10 were approved for JR/SR high principal Susan Ortner and elementary principal Jennifer Kral. Salaries will be determined at a later time.
    Prior to contract discussion, the board held a 22-minute executive session with Supt. Stephen Bohrer to discuss principal evaluations.
    Coaching discussion included the acceptance of George Purnell’s resignation as this year’s assistant HS track coach. Clint Goldenstein was then approved for the coaching position at a stipend of $1,861.

Girls’ golf is club sport
    Noting 10-12 girls will potentially participate in a HS girls’ golf program this season, a club sport agreement was approved by the school board last week.
    The school district will pay the CHSAA participation fee of $108 and will provide transportation, while the HHS girls’ golf club will be responsible for other expenses, in similar fashion to the HHS boys’ golf program in the fall.
    In previous years, HHS girls have competed with the Fleming team. Coach Garrett Gordon had reported he talked with the Fleming coach who didn’t object to Holyoke forming its own club. It was noted fund raising has begun by the girls.
    As part of the club sport agreement, school administration will evaluate coaching staff and will assist with scheduling. Club participants and coaches will follow handbook rules, CHSAA guidelines and expectations of the administration. Club coaches are to create written expectations for athlete participation, which will be approved by administration.
    Kral was approved as a volunteer coach for the girls’ program for the 2009 season.

Citizen disappointed in loss of elementary art program
    Ken Penzing spoke to the board last week about his disappointment in losing the elementary art teacher, citing art can bring about abilities in athletics and academics.
    He asked if there could be consideration for having the high school art teacher work on a consulting basis with elementary students who have an interest in art.

Two buses will be purchased
    Two Bluebird buses will be purchased from Colorado West for a total not to exceed $158,000 with financing. Information on local financing was not available at the meeting, but it was noted the bus purchase will be financed.
    Bluebird buses were given the nod over Internationals based on the fact warranty work on the engines can be done in Sterling. Cost to transport a bus to Denver for repair is $1,000, while it’s estimated to be $275 to take it to Sterling, according to transportation director Robert Jacobs.
    Additionally, a prepay savings of $2,500 was offered on the Bluebird buses purchase.
    Jacobs noted there is a bill floating in the State House right now which could require all buses to have seat belts as of June 2010. He noted to retrofit buses and put seat belts in would cost around $22,000, while to put them in now would be in the $7,000 range.
    Two belts per seat also reduces the number of passengers by one-third. While the district rarely puts three students to a seat, that’s what the bus capacity is figured on, without seat belts.
    Jacobs said he just wanted the board to be aware of the potential of this legislation if it should pass.

Grant sought for recouping HVAC project funds
    Supt. Bohrer reported on a meeting with a Dept. of Ed. construction office rep and Michelle Van Overbeke of Holyoke pertaining to potential grant writing to recoup some of the costs incurred with the recent HVAC project.
    In looking at the amount to request, it was noted the district was down $580,000. Van Overbeke said the facts are facts, and requesting anything else would be an arbitrary number.
    Board member Dan Kafka cited even if chances are slim, if the doorway is open the district needs to do its best to plead its case. The grant application deadline is June 4.

Other business
    In other business at the March 17 meeting, the Re-1J board:
    —approved the updated language arts/reading curriculum as presented at the March 3 meeting. Board members cited the amount of work that went into that and noted appreciation for the study time and input.
    —granted use of the new gym, as well as other facilities, to Beta Sigma Phi for Post Prom activities April 25 and 26.
    —reviewed changes in the guidelines for administration of the instructional staff salary schedule.
    —noted details are still being confirmed for occupancy certification for the Alternative School.