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Chatfield School Board recognizes Lyman Hare

Fri, Jun 25th, 2010
Posted in Education

Chatfield School Board chairman Jerry Chase thanks Lyman Hare for his 14 years of service to the school and community as a board member. Monday, June 21, was Lyman’s last day on the board. Photo by Abby Stocker

After fourteen "rewarding" years on the Chatfield School Board, Lyman Hare voted on school issues for the last time as a board member at the school board's regular monthly meeting on Monday, June 21, 2010. Board chairman Jerry Chase thanked Hare, noting that as a businessman and a school board member, "You can't keep everybody happy in town." Hare responded, "Always be able to explain your vote." He went on to thank the community, the faculty, and the students who supported him during his time on the board.

Superintendent Greg Ehresmann gave the board a brief update on recent building projects. Bathroom renovations are proceeding according to schedule, while problems relating to the water table on the elementary school property are being investigated, with different tiling options being discussed. Ehresmann also asked the board to consider pavement options for the new sidewalk being installed. Though asphalt would save the district $400, concrete would aesthetically match the rest of the school's sidewalks. The board decided to discuss the project with the city council, which is also supplying funds for the new sidewalk, before making their final decision.

High school Principal Randy Paulson also gave a presentation on behalf of the Schedule Advisory Committee (SAC). Since the last board meeting, the SAC met twice and formed a list of recommendations to present to the school board. Among these ideas were continuing with the current supervised study time program, switching to "flex scheduling" for 7th through 12th graders, and changing from a quarter system to a trimester system for 7th and 8th grade students. The administration of Chatfield Schools has already decided to move 7th and 8th grade exploratory classes to the trimester system, which would eliminate one section of the class and, therefore, cut down on costs. The administration has also decided to eliminate block class periods from the schedule for next year, again to save money. However, the SAC and the faculty of the school are recommending that the district adopt "flex scheduling" instead of moving to a eight-period day. In flex scheduling, Mondays, Tuesdays, and Fridays would operate on an eight-period schedule, with students attending all eight classes each day for approximately 45 minutes each. On Wednesdays and Thursdays, students would attend block classes, with Wednesdays devoted to odd-hour classes and Thursday to even-hour classes. Each class on these days would be twice as long as normal, so students would only attend half of their classes each on Wednesday and Thursday. Giving teachers one block period a week would allow time for activities like science labs, which occasionally require more time than a 45-minute "skinny" period offers. Paulson also pointed out that since many students at Chatfield follow rigorous course schedules, "flex" would give them more time to focus on a few of their classes two days per week. Ehresmann suggested making the switch to flex scheduling contingent upon the student schedules working out, noting that sometimes problems only appear after you "pop a few [schedules] out."

Chase briefly explained the projected budget for the 2010-2011 school year to the board, noting that the deficit as projected will run at about $256,000. Board member Matt McMahon stressed the importance of the operating levy coming up this fall, which would add $300,000 to the deficit if not renewed. McMahon also noted that the community would receive more information on the levy as it approaches.

Finally, the board discussed two fundraisers, one by the football team and one by the band program. The football team plans to sell flatbread pizzas during August towards the purchase of a video editing system. The board approved the fundraiser. However, the board denied permission to the band fundraiser in a 3-3 vote. The band initially started the fundraiser without the board's consent, which concerned some board members and sparked discussion over presenting community members with a list of school fundraisers for the year. The list would allow people to plan which groups they would like to support and would eliminate any doubt over whether the fundraiser was legitimate and school-supported.

The next meeting of the Chatfield School Board will be on Monday, July 19, 2010, at 7:00 p.m. in the high school media center. All community members are welcome to attend.

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