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Holyoke school calendar approved PDF Print E-mail
Written by Brenda Johnson Brandt   
    Tuesday, Aug. 18 through Thursday, May 27 are the dates for the 2009-2010 school year in Holyoke School District Re-1J.
    Next year’s school calendar was adopted by the Holyoke Board of Education at its regular meeting Tuesday, April 7.
    With 173 student-teacher contact days in the calendar, the board waived its policy requiring 180 student contact days. Staff days are still numbered at 190 for the 2009-10 school year.
    The calendar cites staff inservice days with no school for students the first Friday of each month except January, in which the inservice day will be held Monday, Jan. 4. The BOCES inservice day will be held Monday, Sept. 28.
    Vacation days are listed for Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 7; Friday, Oct. 23 after Oct. 19, 20 and 22 parent-teacher conferences; Nov. 25-27, Thanksgiving; Friday afternoon, Dec. 18 through Friday, Jan. 1 for Christmas; Friday, Feb. 19; Friday, March 19 after March 15, 16 and 18 parent-teacher conferences; and April 2 and 5 for Easter Spring Break.
    Parent Ken Penzing proposed a calendar involving a four-day school week during November through the second week in April, citing they’re the months with the highest heating/cooling costs.
    His calendar also featured 173 student-teacher contact days, with classes starting Tuesday, Sept. 8 and ending Friday, June 18. He proposed half-day mini-camp days Aug. 18-21 for reading, math and language arts.
    Penzing’s proposal included a full week vacation for Thanksgiving, as well.
    Realizing he was late in the process with his proposal, Penzing just offered it as food for thought.

Nonrenewal approved; extra JH track coach request denied

    A one-hour executive session was held during last week’s board meeting for discussion of certified staff evaluations and classified staff recommendations for 2009-10. Included in the closed session were Supt. Stephen Bohrer and principals Susan Ortner and Jennifer Kral.
    Later in the meeting, the school board approved a resolution to nonrenew the contract of JH language arts teacher Susan Kurtzer.
    In other personnel matters, the board referenced a letter received from head JH track coach Angie Powell, asking for a third paid assistant JH track coach in consideration of the large number of participants (43) and age of the JH kids.
    A motion to approve Ryan Oosthuysen as an assistant JH track coach at a stipend of $1,241 failed on a 3-3 vote. Voting in favor of the additional paid coach were Kris Camblin, Kendon Olofson and Jeff Tharp, while Linda Jelden, Jon King and Laura Krogmeier voted no. Dan Kafka was absent from the meeting.

Supt. search dates highlighted
    Board members met with Colorado Association of School Boards reps Bob Cito and Randy Zila prior to Tuesday night’s board meeting.
    Cito outlined the superintendent search process, and timelines for meeting dates were identified.
    The board will meet Thursday, April 16 at 7 a.m. to select community members to participate in the interviews of finalists for the superintendent of schools position. Those interested are to submit their names for consideration by Wednesday,  April 15.
    Monday, April 20, the board will hold an executive session to screen candidate applications. That same evening, Cito will hold a two-hour training session with those on the interview committee.
    A regular board meeting is set for Tuesday, April 21 at 8 p.m. Then Thursday, April 24 at 7 a.m., the board will determine the candidates they plan to interview. Actual interviews will be scheduled Friday and Saturday, May 1-2.

Supt. announces plans
    Supt. Bohrer opened his report at last week’s meeting by noting he has accepted a position as executive director of the San Luis Valley BOCES, based in Alamosa, starting July 1.
    He also reported the Los Padres/Las Madres Tuesday night program finished up the night of the board meeting.

Other reports
    Additional reports were given at last week’s board meeting from principals Ortner and Kral, as well as third grade teacher Lynn Schneider and her student teacher Nicole Churchwell.
    JR/SR High Principal Ortner reported total numbers attending the student-led and walk-in parent-teacher conferences this spring. She said total JH spring conferences were 81 percent turnout and total HS turnout was 74 percent. Both were up from the spring of 2008.
    Ortner also shared comments from 23 staff members on progress made on the four building goals.
    From the elementary school, principal Kral reported very favorable comments on the fifth grade student-led parent-teacher conferences.
    Kral also told the board about the success of the Reading First program at the elementary school. She highlighted comments on how Reading First helped the school, including aspects that have been most helpful. She also reported what parts of Reading First will be continued in the future and what will be discontinued, based on lack of funds.
    Schneider and Churchwell outlined the process involved in incorporating a student teacher into the classroom activity.
    Through Colorado Christian University, Churchwell was involved in the local classroom for 15 weeks. She observed for a week, then started working in one subject per week. She taught everything completely for five weeks, then started phasing out subjects.
    She’s been able to spend time in other classrooms and other reading groups to give her more experience. Schneider noted Churchwell has brought a number of new ideas to the forefront, which have been beneficial and fun to see.

Other business
    In other business at the April 7 meeting, the Re-1J Board:
    —approved use of the new gym June 1-5 for coach John Baumgartner’s annual basketball camp.
    —revised a board policy regulation on guidelines for administration of the instructional staff salary schedule.
    —amended the district’s Section 125 Plan to include the new Special HIPAA Enrollment Rights clause.
    —appointed Jeff Tharp and Kris Camblin to present graduation diplomas.