by nathan oster
Classes will begin two days earlier next fall, on Tuesday, Aug. 21, under the new school calendar for 2012-13 which was approved Feb. 14 by the Big Horn County School District No. 3 board of trustees.
The calendar is very similar to the one that was approved for the current school year in that it calls for 175 instructional days for students, 185 total days for teachers and deviates only slightly in terms of vacation days.
Trustee Mike Meredith said it was “a good discussion” this year between officials from the Basin and Greybull schools, who in the past and because of their shared classes and close proximity have always worked together to develop identical calendars.
This year, a consensus was reached, and that consensus was one presented to the two boards.
Some of the highlights of the new calendar:
• Classes will begin Tuesday, Aug. 21.
• With Oct. 15 falling on a Monday, the fall break/hunting vacation is set for Monday, Oct. 22.
• For Thanksgiving, there will be no school from Wednesday, Nov. 21 through Friday, Nov. 23.
• The winter break will begin on Monday, Dec. 24 and end Monday, Jan. 1. A teacher inservice is scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 2. Students return Wednesday, Jan. 3.
• Late winter break is Friday, Feb. 22.
• Spring break will again be a week long, running April 1-5.
• Graduation is May 19.
• The last day of school is May 24.
In other business discussed during last week’s meeting, the board:
• The board accepted the resignations of Erica Jensen, a food service worker, and Marilyn Edeler, a fourth-grade teacher at Greybull Elementary School. Edeler served the district for 35 years.
• Bob Graham, a member of the town council, spoke with the board about the swimming pool project. His presentation was the same one that Sara Schlattmann made one night earlier to the town council.
• Selena Brown was appointed to the school board’s Academic Committee, joining Dale Nuttall and Mike Meredith on that body.
• The board reaffirmed its commitment to leadership governance policies.
• Greybull High School will soon be getting new carpet. The board awarded the bid to King’s Carpet One of Worland, which came in with a low bid of $79,410, which was around $700 less than McKinnon Flooring, also of Worland.
Joe Forcella, the district’s maintenance supervisor, indicated that the carpet would be installed starting around June 1. The plan is to do all of the common areas. “Everything but the classrooms,” he said, adding that they would be re-carpeted in 2013.
The high school still has its original carpeting, some 16-17 years after it opened. Forcella said the carpet has exceeded its anticipated lifespan, which for a school is seven to 10 years.
• GES Principal Brenda Jinks reported that the school had a turnout of about 90 percent for parent-teacher conferences.
• GHS Principal Barry Bryant said the school would be sending 18 of its students to the state science fair, which will be held on the campus of the University of Wyoming. He offered kudos to the students and science teacher Joel Kuper, saying the school normally averages about nine or 10 state science fair participants.
The high school has no one certified to teacher driver’s education. Typically it has been offered in the summer. According to Bryant, a teacher is interested in teaching it, but cannot afford the approximately $4,000 required to go through the classes and become certified.
Bryant said he would not support using district funds to pay for someone to become certified.
The district would, however, pay the driver’s ed teacher a $3,300 stipend.
Bryant recommended the district advertise for the position to see if anyone’s interested. If not, the district could consider BOCES funding, though that would require imposing another one-half mill on district taxpayers. That money, however, could be used for far more than just driver’s ed, including such things as college courses for district students and even programming through the recreation district.
Bryant emphasized that the school gets graded not for how well its students drive but rather for how well they read, write and do arithmetic. Trustee Steve Hoblit said that while that may be the case, “I still think it’s important.”
Councilman Bob Graham said he would approach the town council to see if some of the additional revenue generated by traffic fines in 2011 could be earmarked for the certification of a driver’s ed teacher.
In his staff report, Bryant noted that Basin and Rocky Mountain teach driver’s ed in the summer. In Lovell, the recreation district teaches the class.
• Forcella ran through a list of major maintenance projects proposed for 2012. In total, the projects come in around $288,000. The most expensive ones are a fire wall/reconstruction project at the bus barn, the replacement of carpeting at the high school and the continuation of the upgrades to building door hardware.
Forcella’s project list also includes the installation of light for the Buff Gym parking lot, the resealing of parking lots, and the continued development of a site plan working in conjunction with the School Facilities Commission.