Moffat County school board considers all-day kindergarten

The Moffat County School District Board of Education opened discussion Tuesday night on all-day kindergarten. Audience member Chris Walsh and several other members of the community asked the Board to consider extending the half-day kindergarten classes to full days.

"It takes 15 minutes for [the children] to just get their jackets and boots off when they get to school," Walsh said. "Then they attend a lot of extra-curricular activities while they're there. The actual truth is teachers get them about a half an hour a day and that's not near enough time to teach them anything. The state has bumped up the curriculum so much that the kids are struggling when they enter first grade."

Board members promised to look into the matter.

Members of the high school band were present. The Board recognized the band for recently being selected to play in District VIII honor bands.

Judy Muldoon, library technician and computer lab teacher at Sunset Elementary, gave a demonstration of the Web site she developed for Sunset school on thelearningnetwork.com site. The site is also linked to the funbrain.com Web sites.

"It is very user-friendly and parents can go there as well as students when they are at home," Muldoon said. The site will aid teachers with lesson plans, keep parents informed and help students improve academic performance. "I foresee this being a big tool for us as a timesaver," Muldoon added.

Other business included:

n A report by president of the Colorado Association of School Boards, Phillip Virden, on CASB's convention, which was held Nov. 30 through Dec. 12, and a request for feedback from Moffat County's board.

n A discussion about a letter received by the school board from the Bureau of Land Management requesting physical removal of the Brown's Park School. An assessment showed it would cost $40,000 to remove the 1,500-square-foot building. While there may be some historical value to the property, the BLM wants the land, which is adjacent to BLM land, to be raized and have reclamation work done. The School Board decided to seek short-term legal advice on the matter.

n A request for approval of the new science curriculum was tabled after a discussion about the wording in one section. Some board members felt the wording did not address teaching both evolution and creationism theories in a totally unbiased manner.

"This board has a responsibility to ensure that both Intelligent Design and the Big Bang theories are taught in the school district," Board Member Steve Hafey said.

The Board agreed committe members working on the curriculum should bring reworked wording to the next Board meeting for approval.

n A resolution was passed on a policy to ensure schools are "family friendly/family supportive."

n A presentation to the board to consider a solution to the dilemma of students missing classes due to attending extra-curricular activities.

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