Foremost facility question: keep schools separate or combine?

    Projections for facility options for Holyoke School District Re-1J were the subject of a May 21 work session when the Board of Education had a conference call with representatives from the Neenan Archistruction Company.
    Updating information from the April 16 work session with the board, Neenan’s senior architect David Kurtz led the discussion in last Tuesday’s phone conference.
    Kurtz emphasized that the first decision needing to be made — looking in the long-term — is whether the elementary and JR/SR high schools will be kept separate or combined.
    Phase-in options are a possibility for the following projects still on the table for discussion:
    — Renovate elementary school and high school, and add gym and entry.
    — New elementary school on a new site; renovate high school, and add gym and entry.
    — New elementary, gym and entry additions onto high school building; renovate high school.
    Another option — building a new K-12 on a new site — is part of the projections. However, it was noted that up-front money will be needed for this, as opposed to phase-in options.
    The board eliminated the option of a new elementary school on its existing site based on limited expansion space.
    Acknowledging that the dollar figures are very rough, Kurtz said costs for a new elementary school are in the $20 million range. Projected cost for a new K-12 school on a new site is $85 million.
    Benefits and drawbacks of each option were reviewed, along with Building Excellent Schools Today grant funding, bonding capability and other financial considerations.
    Superintendent Kyle Stumpf said the board has until July 26 to notify the county clerk/recorder if a ballot option is planned in November. This could be either a mill levy or bond election.
    Specific discussion with regard to the direction to take this year and onward with a master facility plan will be held at the June 4 and 18 board meetings.
    
Dirks resigns; 2 teachers hired
    Kindergarten teacher Brittany Dirks resigned from her current teaching position, effective at the end of this school year.
    Along with Dirks’ resignation, the board approved the hiring of two teachers for the 2019-20 school year. David Mauler will fill the elementary physical education teaching position, and Desiree Mosenteen, the high school English as a Second Language position.
    Mauler has taught physical education for nine years, the last seven in Jefferson County. He currently is employed as a P.E. teacher and athletic director for the middle school in Brighton.
    He earned his B.A. degree in sports and exercise science and his M.A. degree in teaching physical education through the University of Northern Colorado.
    Mosenteen has 11 years teaching experience as a high school ESL teacher in Holyoke. She hasn’t taught for the last five years, but maintains strong relationships with Latino families in the community.
    She earned her B.A. degree from Nebraska Wesleyan University, her M.S. degree from Colorado State University and her ESL endorsement from UNC.
    
Extra-duty assignments made; classified staff employment recommended
    Extra-duty assignments were approved for 2019-20 at last week’s board meeting. Stipends approved for coaching positions include $3,102 for head HS coaches and $1,861 for assistants, and $1,825 for head JH coaches and $1,241 for assistants.
    Coaches approved at the May 21 meeting include head coach Dusty Sprague and assistants Nic Balog, Russ Sprague and Bryan Beckner, HS football; assistant Ashley Hoffner, HS volleyball; head Marcus Kammer and assistant Ernie Kinnie, HS boys basketball.
    Head John Baumgartner, HS girls basketball; head Dusty McConnell and assistant Parker Redfern, HS wrestling; head Corey Koberstein and assistants Dani Coons and Amanda Skinner, HS track; head Sam Distefano and assistant Jimmy French, HS baseball.
    Head Sherman Kage and assistant Kendra Schlachter, HS softball; head Nic Flaa and assistant Marcia Dalton, HS girls golf (both with $1,533 stipends); head Aly Brinkema and assistant Adria Colver, HS girls swimming.
    Head Aaron Mosenteen and assistant Distefano, JH football; head Hannah Petersen, JH volleyball; head Jim Yakel and assistant Aaron Sprague, JH boys basketball.
    Head Ashley Clayton and assistant Petersen, JH girls basketball; head Andrew Colglazier and assistant McConnell, JH wrestling; head Allie Balog and assistants Luke Goldenstein and Gina Martin, JH track.
    Schlachter was also named athletic trainer at $5,583, and Beckner strength coach at $3,102.
    Other extra-duty assignments include Jennifer Halligan, JR/SR high spiritleader, $2,357; Marcia Dalton, choir director, $3,102; Aaron Cottam, band director, $3,102; Pat Wiebers, musical assistant, $932.
    Classified staff employment recommendations were made for 2019-20 for Brenda Krueger, district administrative director; Joan Price, HR/payroll director; Ben Rahe, budget and finance director; Perry Ingram, director of technology.
    Dusty McConnell, maintenance/grounds; Stacey Krogmeier and Natali Goytia, secretaries.
    Kimberly Young, Mark Groshans, Fletcher Hinck, Scott Murray and Dave Johnson, transportation; Griselda Carrasco, Guadalupe Montes, Albino Nuñez, Rosa Ronquillo and Juana Ruiz, custodians.
    Terri Biersdorfer, Tracey Cordova, Yazmin Diaz, Melisa Hunter, Aydaly Juarez, Sasha Lopez, Johana Nevarez, Leticia Penzing, Christy Shafer and Ana Trejo, paraprofessionals.
    
Superintendent reports
    Capital projects for the summer and professional development were included as topics on Stumpf’s superintendent’s report last week.
    The three major capital projects include a sprinkler system in front of the elementary school at $3,000-$5,000; cement replacement at the JR/SR high, $10,000-$12,000; and vestibule entry between current alternative school and the JR/SR high, $6,500-$7,500.
    Stumpf also discussed the list of professional development planned for 2019-20, including Northwest Evaluation Association, Infinite Campus, curriculum work, Visible Learning and English Language Learners.
    
Other business
    In other business May 21, the school board:
    — Hired summer staff including Kayla Redfern and Stefan Betley for mowing; and Ana Trejo, Sasha Lopez, Johana Nevarez and Christy Shafer for painting.
    — Renewed the Advanced Benefits health insurance package for 2019-20.
    — Amended the nonprobationary teacher renewal list from the previous meeting, as it included errors. Karen Ortner was moved to nonprobationary status, and Nancy Miles is on the nonprobationary renewal list.
    — Noted board meetings begin at 8 p.m. during the summer months, starting with the June 4 meeting.
    — Gave first-reading approval to policies on staff health, staff personal security and safety, admission of nonimmigrant foreign exchange students and public’s right to know/freedom of information.

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