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Flexible Learning Year meetings in Chatfield

Sun, Jan 23rd, 2011
Posted in Education

On Tuesday, January 18, 2011, the Chatfield School Board met for two meetings. The first, beginning at 6:15 p.m., was an informational meeting for the public on a proposed program called Flexible Learning Year. The second was the regular monthly board meeting for the month of January which took place at 7:00 p.m.

The first meeting began with the re-organization of school board officers directed by Superintendent Harris. Jerry Chase will continue to be chairman of the board. Vice chairman is now Greg LaPlante. Matt McMahon is currently the clerk. The treasurer position is now filled by F. Mike Tuohy. After the distribution of officer positions, Superintendent Harris gave a presentation to the public on the details of Flexible Learning Year. Flexible Learning Year is a different school year calendar that the school would follow with other schools in the program. The school year would begin around two weeks earlier with this program in place and release two weeks earlier. The program has many different objectives. One is to give more time to cover more of the curriculum for standardized testing. Another is to give more time for teacher training and professional development. However, some at the meeting did express concern saying that it would affect summer activities such as 4-H involvement in the state fair. With both pros and cons being expressed, the board considers this to be only a time of investigation of the program. The first meeting adjourned after statements from the public.

The regular meeting began following closely after the first. All members were in attendance, including newly sworn in member Thomas Sturgis and returning member Matt McMahon as they each began their new terms.

Ed Harris started off with his superintendent's report. He presented details of what the schedule was like for the upcoming workshop day. Many examples were given on how staff will be engaged in professional development. Support staff will be focusing on school safety training and curriculum writing will take place. Also, hourly employees will be learning about the new time clock system.

Both principals also gave a brief report. In the high school Randy Paulson stated that Tony Cole will be directing the one act play. The cheerleaders were recognized for their awards they've received. Finally, the high school is looking into returning to a block schedule for at least part of the day. This will help students focus on their classes and improve their grades and attendance. The block schedule also helps the school financially. Elementary Principal Craig Ihrke said that the elementary school will be focusing on registering visitors that may be in the building for safety reasons. He also mentioned that families need to begin looking into whether their child will be attending kindergarten this fall if their child turns five before September 1st, 2011.

The board approved its annual Chatfield Community Television (CCTV) payment of $5,000 for this year. In additional consent items was the posting of a 9th grade football coaching position, a posting for a coronation committee advisor, and postings for 7th and 8th grade softball coaches. After passing consent items, the board members split up into committees for the year.

The meeting concluded with the recognition of some special dates. There will be more informational meetings on the Flexible Learning Year program on January 24th and February 7th. Both will be at 6:15 p.m. in the high school media center. The next regular school board meeting will be February 7th at 7:00 p.m. Finally, in observance of President's Day, there will be no school on February 21st.

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