Parents voice concern about proposed calendar

More than 50 parents attended SDAC meeting

Advertisement

Budget reduction template presented

Moffat County Superintendent Joe Petrone presented a first draft of proposed budget reductions for the 2010-11 school year Thursday at the School District Accountability meeting. Because of a 7.75 percent decrease in state funding and possible expense increases, the district is looking to cut from $1.8 million to $2.8 million from its $20 million budget.

The first draft of the budget reduction template works as an outline for future discussions, Petrone said.

He said the budget will be discussed at upcoming school board, SDAC and Parent Advisory Committee meetings, and it will be finalized in June.

A few features of the draft template include:

• Increase athletic and book fees

• Reduce paid holidays for central office staff

• Reduce high school administration by one position

• Reduce high school and middle school extracurricular activities expenses by 10 to 30 percent

• Reduce school supply expenses by 10 to 20 percent

• Reduce School Board and Superintendent travel expenses by $10,000

• Restrict distance of out-of-town bussing

• Possible voter-approved mill levy override of 20 to 25 percent

More than 50 parents and community members filled the Moffat County School District board room Thursday to voice questions and concerns about the current proposed 2010-11 school calendar.

The School District Accountability Committee, a group of parents and community members, accommodated the visitors by allowing almost an hour of its monthly meeting to be used for small-group collaboration and public comment on the calendar.

Superintendent Joe Petrone said he welcomed the group of concerned parents and wanted to give everyone the chance to have their voice heard before the calendar goes to final vote before the Moffat County School Board on Feb. 25.

“We want to listen to what you say and take it to heart and take it with us when we look at the proposal,” Petrone said to the group. “The process that we’re going to use is getting as many people to speak up. We want to do our very best to accommodate everyone. But it’s virtually impossible to satisfy everyone.”

Major qualms with the calendar included the proposed start date of Aug. 19 being too early and the proposed bi-monthly collaboration, which would result in early releases.

In the current proposal, which Petrone said still will undergo changes before next week’s vote as community feedback is taken into account, there will be an early release by two hours every other Monday to allow teachers time to collaborate on curriculum.

The consensus at the meeting was that Monday collaboration time could present difficulties for family work schedules, day care and a financial burden.

Karen Maneotis, a parent of two students in the district, said she represented a group of about 20 parents who had combined their ideas.

“What happens to kids who have no one home?” she asked about the proposed Monday collaboration time. “What about kids left at home alone and ones running around town? Attendance will be down because kids will just stay at home those days. Monday is always a crazy day. Collaboration is needed. Teachers need to get together but do not need to do it on instructional time.”

Some parents argued whether collaboration time was necessary at all, or if the teachers could collaborate in a way that would not alter the school day schedule.

Petrone said he will take the comments to heart but is adamant that district-wide collaboration time is a necessity to create a “professional learning environment.”

As for the start date, Maneotis represented at the meeting a group of National FFA Organization, 4-H and agriculture program parents. She said because of the State Fair in late August, agriculture students missed a lot of classes in the beginning of the year when school begins anytime before Labor Day.

Other parents agreed, adding that the schools are too hot in August and make for a poor learning environment.

Petrone said the calendar development committee will present a new proposal to the board at a work session before the Feb. 25 meeting. He said if the board deems it necessary, the vote could be pushed back.

“In my experience in education, you cannot satisfy everyone with any calendar,” he said. “We will do the very best we can to satisfy, but number one is to satisfy needs of the children, and then families are right there as well.”

Nicole Inglis can be reached at 875-1793, or ninglis@craigdailypress.com.

Comments

CindyLou 4 years, 10 months ago

Teacher bi-monthly collaboration hour? Don't they already get a free period every day? School starts at 8 and ends at 3:30. That's a seven and a half hour day. Take out the free period and lunch and you have a six hour work day. Six hours a day for 160 days is 960 hours a year teaching our kids. If a teacher makes $40,000 a year they are being paid around $42 bucks an hour and now they want more free time to "collaborate"? That's the most rediculous thing I've ever heard.

I can understand why they want kids to start school on Aug 19th. This school district has a three day weekend about twice a month so they have to start early and go late if they want to squeeze in any class time by the end of the year.

0

app123 4 years, 10 months ago

i personally think that the kids already have to much time out through the school year has it is already... and it seems like everytime you turn around that the teachers here want more days out for some unknown reasons...And it's getting to be almost stupid!!!! And the school year should start after labor day.. It's to hot in August...And if the teachers are really needing a teacher collaberation day's; then why doesn't the school board have the kids go 4 days a week.. mon-thursdays 8am-4pm, and have fridays out... it would make more sense..-amy angelo chadd

0

John Kinkaid 4 years, 10 months ago

It must have been quite the dog and pony show last night.

$2.8 million in cuts. Okay. $10,000. less for school board and superintendent travel. Only $2.79 million to go. 20% fewer pens, pencils and notebooks. Good idea. That will add right up.

Remember they are the professionals. You are just the bill payers. Every rookie superintendent knows that to quash dissent you just have to say, "We just want to do what's best for the children." Works everytime.

Except.....if you know that it's just a trick, you don't have to fall for it.

Karen Maneotis: Stand firm. Question with boldness. Speak without fear. Do not let this schedule pass.

0

craiggirl 4 years, 10 months ago

I cannot believe how some of you talk about the teachers in our community. It's sickening. I wonder if any of you have ever experienced what it is like to be a teacher in this district or any other? I have, and it's not easy. CindyLou you question what we're paying our teachers? SERIOUSLY? We don't pay them nearly enough. They're trying to educate our students, and give them a foundation to build on. Do you think we'd get better teachers by offering to pay less?

Teachers' workdays don't start when the bell rings at 8:00 a.m. nor does it end at 3:30. They work early, late and some of them work on weekends. And Jason, you question the reduction in school supplies. Teachers are already spending their own money on supplies for school. If the district cuts the school supply budget, who do you think will be the most impacted?

Yes, parents and community members have a right and an obligation to make known their concerns. I agree that there appear to be problems with the calendar that is currently presented, but I don't agree with the criticism of the teachers.

0

John Kinkaid 4 years, 10 months ago

I have seen the hyper-sensitivity card played before. It's another tool from the toolbox. Not falling for it this time. First, don't lump all teachers in together with idealized generalizations. Don't divert attention from the real discussion items.

I'm not sure how I got drug into the post above. I did NOT criticize teachers. I am questioning decision makers.

My point was and still is that cutting the office supply budget 20% is chump change in a $2.8 million dollar budget reduction. Smoke and mirrors.

As a community we need to have a serious and civil discussion. We, the individuals in this community, have the power.

0

calvinhobbs 4 years, 10 months ago

Lets see, my wife is a teacher. She leaves home at 7:15 every day. Plans for 120 kids during 7 class periods. Grades papers, contact parents who do not ever show to conferences about grades. Then starts the day. Teaches 7 classes, has a prep period where she meets with parents, grades papers, makes copies, helps kids. Lunch as a free time, ha. She has kids come in redo papers, gets kids caught up on missing work and eats in her room.Then when the day is over she helps kids, records grades, prepares for the next day. Leaves about 5. I never understand how people think a teachers day is the same as the kids. And for those of you who think she has free summers, classes to remain certified, graduate hours so she can get a raise. She did not plan the current calender with one 3 day weekend a month. Some of you want to bash teachers when the article is about the calender. The teachers have NO say in the calender. But I can tell you this, most do not like this new proposal. Just wait, the big cuts are coming, pools, buses, athletics, teachers. Just wait for those classes of 40 kids next year at the high school.

0

Anitadunnce 4 years, 10 months ago

I still think that cutting art classes in the middle and high schools is a great idea! The middle school art position is already being advertised for next year, and Tom Duncan is slated to retire at the end of this year from teaching art at the high school. If elementary art is being taught as one of the "specials" by an art teacher, then perhaps we could put elementary art back within the realm of the regular elementary classroom teacher and get rid of the "specials" teacher, too.

Do our middle schoolers and high schoolers really need to be able to draw in order to make it in the world, to hold a job, to pay a mortgage, to feed their families? If students do have natural talent, then they are sketching and molding clay at home and on their own time already, aren't they, and won't those kids go on to take art classes at community colleges or 4-year institutions?

The high school principal, Thom Schnellinger, taught art before he decided to go after a bigger paycheck as an administrator, so maybe he could hold an after-school art class once a week for those students who are interested..... sort of like "Art Club". We could save money that would have been paid out in art teachers' salaries and also put that school time to better use.

We all know that Craig kids, and American students in general, often do not show well in math skills, vocabulary, reading comprehension, composition, geography, history, government...... why not teach these subjects and excise the fluff: art class?

0

kerrya 4 years, 10 months ago

I thought this discussion was about the calender? It seems to have taken a turn to the budget and that is a whole other can of worms that I expect to see people open up soon. For now let's focus on the calendar proposal since that is the topic at hand. It is a great thing that so many showed up at Thursday night's meeting, what surprised me is that people are so passionate about something that has been in place for as long as I have been in Craig. The "Construction" calendar was adopted with the knowledge that we would go back to the "pre-contruction" schedule for 2010/2011. What has changed that makes people so upset about this? We have always started mid-August before. I personally don't want to go back to school in August but I understood that it would go back to that. If you want your voice heard, and I honestly feel that if you speak up your concerns will be taken into account, attend your PAC meeting, attend the open meetings, but be respectful about it.

0

Anitadunnce 4 years, 10 months ago

kerrya: The calendar and the budget reductions are inextricably interwoven, because the calendar discussion arose principally as a way to reduce the budget. If other means can be found, therefore, to reduce the budget sufficiently, then monkeying with the calendar is unnecessary and becomes a moot issue, yes?

calvinhobbs: Your points are well-taken, but your statement that your wife teaches only 120 students in 7 classes raises a concern. That is an average of only 17 kiddos per class, and it is these small classes that are a big part of the budget problem. If the community recommends, and the Board accepts, a proposal for classes not to be offered with fewer than 22-25 students, then some or all of your wife's classes would be dropped for the following semester, depending upon the student distribution among her 7 classes. In some of these situations, maybe a few teachers would have to be reduced to part time. (If a teacher is assigned less than half-time, then the teacher also does not receive health insurance benefits, so that is another problem.)

It seems unfair and inequitable, too, doesn't it? You stated that your wife has papers to grade, which take an extraordinary amount of out-of-school time to complete. Other teachers.... art, chorus, band.... generally do not grade papers, or if they do, it is rare, and sometimes those are multiple-choice, i.e. objective, and are graded very quickly with a key. I do feel for your wife's situation, but I have no meaningful suggestions there. Maybe some community members can figure out a way to equalize the workloads..... (such as mandatory after-school club sponsorship for teachers of non-core classes who most often do not have time-consuming papers to grade? Not a perfect idea, but it's a thought)

0

Tom Soos 4 years, 10 months ago

I would be suprised if this isn't already a done deal.Petrone quote “In my experience in education, you cannot satisfy everyone with any calendar,” pretty much says it all!

0

John Kinkaid 4 years, 10 months ago

The dog and pony shows aren't really about genuinely seeking input. Yes, a superintendent and central staff would already consider this a done deal. Don't fall for the "We just want to do what's best for the children" line either. Don't be intimidated by the "professionals". You pay the bills. You have the power. Keep on the school board members. Stand firm.

The calendar and the $2.8 million in budget cuts are indeed interwoven subjects. It makes sense to talk about them in the same thread.

To all of the dedicated teachers reading this thread: Thank you for all of the extras that you give every day that go by unnoticed.

Finding creative solutions that make financial sense should not be considered taboo. Craig has an art community that could step in and relieve some financial pressure. Provide art classes differently. Just a thought.

0

John Kinkaid 4 years, 10 months ago

What about going to intramural sports? Fuel and salaries

What about dropping buses? Fuel and salaries

What about letting job attrition work out? Salaries

Longer days and a shorter school year? Overhead costs

Hot topics, but worth discussing. Again; we pay the bills.

0

Really 4 years, 10 months ago

I just wonder why they won't touch ANY of the over $6 million they have in the reserve fund? We have to pay for Kindergarten and they have that much money in the bank?

AnitaD. - Sometimes classes like Band and Art are the only things that will motivate kids to stay in school and graduate. It would be a big mistake to drop any program. Maybe cut out classes that aren't well attended.

0

serenity9700 4 years, 10 months ago

Someone said there was a link to actually SEE the proposed calendar here...it's not on the school district website that I can find either, and Mr. Petrone mentioned it's there.

0

serenity9700 4 years, 10 months ago

Ah...type "school calendar" in the CDP search line and it's at the bottom of the page. Yep, I think longer days have been OK...they seem to get more one-on-one with the teachers, though I'm not sure how the teachers feel about that. I hate how there's a "conspiracy" tone out there. I sure hope last night's suggestions make it to the calendar...I heard there are teachers who would like to see school start later in August, too. It's the teachers we need to listen to...all I've heard are parents and administrators. Hmmmm.

0

Anitadunnce 4 years, 10 months ago

Serenity9700, you actually ARE hearing from teachers (a handful of them, at least, anonymously). There is an atmosphere of fear at one of the schools. One of the principals in the District is known to be vindictive and retaliatory. The principal was angered a couple of years ago by a teacher who resigned, and that principal threatened aloud to see to it that the teacher lost his/her license (just for leaving Craig.... sheesh.... can you just imagine taking a vendetta to the State Dept. of Education in order to cause a person to lose their livelihood? No wonder people are afraid to speak out). When school personnel have incompetent bullies to deal with, they can't be too careful if they need their jobs.

Rainbow, yes, you're right. There are students who come to school mainly for the fun and the non-academic classes. A lot of that fun may be in Band or Chorus or Art class, in the views of some students.

1) I had suggested that Art should be an after-school club. If a student drops out of school, the student also could not come back for a club get-together, so it was my thought that the club idea might keep students in school, as well as provide them with an artistic, creative outlet.

2) With such a huge projected budget shortfall, some tough decisions will have to be made. Administrators are going to have to pull up their big-boy pants and get down to brass tacks.

3) Why doesn't MCHS have any clubs? That has always troubled me. Other high schools have Chess Club, French Club, Service Clubs (Key Club... Kiwanis; Z-Club... Zonta International); National Honor Society; Drama Club. Where are the CLUBS here, anyway? Even if a student is not gifted athletically or musically, therefore, they can still find a place to fit in, to belong, to learn a sense of community and group spirit.

4) Am I the ONLY one who has failed to figure out how just changing the calendar is going to save nearly $2M?? If it were that easy to cut the budget, then why wasn't it done years ago? If that had been the case, just think of the huge surplus that the District would have now!

0

John Kinkaid 4 years, 10 months ago

Our family strongly supports the current calendar with a compressed school year and longer school days. Starting school after Labor Day....yes! Getting out before Memorial Day....yes. We have dreamed of this type of schedule and calendar for decades.

There is no way that you can convince me that longer days and a compressed school year don't save on overhead. No way! You would have to live in an alternate universe.

0

bock777 4 years, 10 months ago

Dunnce:

What are you talking about, in terms of high school clubs? Maybe things have changed in the several years since I graduated from MCHS, but I'm pretty sure the school still has Key Club, National Honor Society, Drama, etc. In fact, I'm quite certain considering I recently spoke with a student who said she was involved in such activities.

0

gatoronskis 4 years, 10 months ago

Maybe I can provide a little insight that may answer some of your questions and provide even more concerns. First of all the newspaper only gave you a sampling of what the proposed cuts will be. Changing the calendar back the way it was prior to construction was never intended to be the save all when trying to cut nearly two million dollars from the current budget. It is true that you will save some transportation costs and utility costs but thats even small change when looking at two million. I myself (and many others) would perfer to stay with the current calendar.

Eighty-three percent of the budget goes to teacher, staff, and administrative salaries, benefits and retirement. A beginning teacher right out of college with no experience starts out at $30,000 per year, the max that a teacher can earn with a master's degree and 20 years of experience is $60,000. When this is the majority of your costs trimming the supplies, increasing fees, adding furlough days, can help but when it comes right down to that won't be enough. What the paper did not inform you in this article is that all teachers, staff and most of the administrators are being informed that they should expect at least a 5% paycut for next year, and possibly another 5% for the following year as well. Another scenario is that with any current teacher retiring at the end of this year or next then every effort will be made to either eliminate that position through attrition or hire someone new (right out of college) at half the cost. Coaches, teacher leaders, department heads, and specialists will also undergo the 5% cut and in some cases a 50% reduction in their current extracurricular stipends. Fewer teachers means bigger class sizes, and possibily fewer programs (even the clubs that we already have). Other things that the paper did not mention was the fact that the swimming pool, high school swim team (boys and girls) and coaches are also on the chopping block. Custodial staff in all schools are asked to reduce their number of hours worked by an hour per day but still expected to perform all of the duties that they normally do.

The worst thing about all of this is that the amount of money that needs to be cut keeps changing from month to month. Not at the fault of our school district, but our state. The state can't even predict accurately the possible shortfalls and we should expect more cuts even before the fiscal year starts, and if that wasn't bad enough next year does not look any better. No matter what happens, you can be rest assured that your child, my student and their learning will still be my number one priority when it comes to their education (as long as I am still employed).

0

Anitadunnce 4 years, 10 months ago

jasonbourne: I think so highly of the comments that you post, that if you are convinced that the proposed changes in the school calendar will create a significant savings in the budget, I will accept that. Before the District can get the public to accept that calendar changes will save nearly $2M, however, I think the District may have to break down the costs, itemize the projected savings, and SHOW us where the electricity will be reduced, etc.

bock777: Thanks for referring to me as just "Dunnce". If you'd prefer, and if it will help you to better express your contempt for me, then feel to spell it "dunce". That kind of thing indicates that you're a swell, stand-up guy.

If you believe that all of the clubs that you have named actually exist, then please list for us the days that the clubs meet, i.e. right after school on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month; 1st and 3rd Wednesdays; whatever.

We all know that a couple stage productions are put on each year, but I have never, ever heard or read about a "Drama Club" that meets throughout the school year.

Yes, NHS is a club, but usually we hear of it only at an awards ceremony. In many high schools, NHS performs service/charity functions for the community. If that occurs here, all I can say is that I have never heard about it. I also think that when colleges look at resumes with NHS affiliation listed, the college admissions offices have the expectation that NHS members have done something besides just turn in great school work and receive a lapel pin.... such as service.

Key Club? When do they meet? The kids all hear announcements nearly every morning of the school year, but if our students are aware when Key Club meets, I'd be surprised.

I have to say that the ONLY teen service club of which I am aware, with the exception of charity work done by teens through their churches or the Girls and Boys Club, is Girl Scouts. We all are aware of all the important charity work done by the Girl Scouts and their local leaders, because we read write-ups in the CDP. I can't be sure, but I think that the Girl Scouts probably are the most, or at least one of the top two, teen service clubs in Craig. That fact is especially remarkable when we consider that not a large number of girls actually participate. The ones who are involved in Girl Scouts work very, very hard. Good job, girls and leaders!!

That does not cause me to change what I wrote previously about the dearth of school service clubs at MCHS. I want to be wrong about this, so if anyone has facts that prove me wrong, please put your information into a comment for us to read.

0

John Kinkaid 4 years, 10 months ago

Thank you for the compliment! I try to be as accurate as possible.

I need to clarify something. What I intended to suggest was that the current schedule would save more money than the other items listed in the newspaper. And that going back to the "old" schedule would actually increase costs. Not a great idea, if you are trying to save money.

Gator: Thank you for the additional info. Why didn't the paper cover these proposed cuts? They sound like the kinds of things that could really add up to big money. These proposals need to be made public by the paper NOW. Office supplies.... give me a break.

Gator: Is it true that the superintendent will get his contractual salary increase? What is his salary? What is the % of the increase? I'm guessing that he makes somewhere in the neighborhood of $110,000. Please let us know.

0

bock777 4 years, 10 months ago

AnitaDunnce:

I meant no contempt in my previous post, I just thought it would be shorter to refer to you by your chosen surname. But since that seems to be a sore point, I have no problem accomodating you.

As for the clubs you mentioned, when I was in school, NHS members were expected to do some form of charity work, although admittedly, I didn't do as much as I could. The main thing I remember doing was helping with Coats for Colorado. I can't speak for Key Club, as I was not a member then and have nothing to do with it now.

You are right about Drama, as beyond the play and the musical every year, there was no real club to speak of outside of Acting classes, although either circumstance may have changed since I've graduated. Such an activity did take place on the Speech Team, on which I was heavily involved, and which I understand to be thriving lately. I was also the captain of the Knowledge Bowl team in my senior year, but I am unsure if that group has continued since.

As for other clubs, I know a Chess Club sprang up and quickly died while I was in school, and I never remember a French Club being offered. Other after-school activities that I recall were offshoots of Choir and Band classes.

As for when and where any of the current clubs meet, I've got nothing to tell you, as I am no longer in high school, nor do I really have any association with anyone there at the moment, as my siblings have also long since graduated.

0

eieiolrighty 4 years, 9 months ago

I know for a fact that there is still a key club and NHS. My daughter is part of the NHS and her friends the key club. I do not know when they meet. She takes care of that herself. She does do community service as this is part of NHS. She helped with the Toys for tots at Christmas and has been volunteering with two other programs. They have the choir which has been in the paper lately. They still have speech and debate which is in the paper also. You can sign up for the announcements from the high school and see that they do meet for these programs. Why do you feel to be so negative about our school district when you obviously don't have the facts straight? I have had my run-ins with the district. BUT, the majority of our teachers are here for our children. I try not to judge things I have no idea about. Just because you heard it from Joe on the street doesn't mean it is true. I don't believe they were changing the calender to cut $2 million from the budget either. I'm not sure where that came from. I believe they were trying to go back to the old calender that we had before construction. From what I read in the paper today the district listened to the people.

0

WTF 4 years, 9 months ago

I feel sorry for this community, even more so for the kids. We seem to just shuffle them to the side and then complain when we think the worlds coming to end because of juvenile misfits. Any person, who sees a teacher has over paid, should then consider a career change. If the teaching business was so lucrative then why don’t you venture into it? In order to become a teacher you have to have a degree they don’t give these away nor are they cheap. Even a cheap bachelor’s degree is around 30,000. $42 dollars an hours is kind of a subjective calculation. I’m sure we could subjectively hack at the person figuring that amount yearly salary as well. If you take a typical day in any job where the coffee pot is the first hour, with two 15 min breaks, 30 min lunch, and the last hour of non-productive clean up and wrap-up we can easily cut 3 hours of productivity from your job. If your boss showed up today and said I’m cutting 15 hour a week from you paycheck, because really your not doing much during them, you’d be on the phone with the EEOC in a minute. And think about it your kids from age 6-to-18 spend more waking hours with a teacher then they do with you, do you real want the person, with that much influence on your child making $6.15 an hour. People become teachers not to become millionaires, but to teach kids and better their future. To stand on a soap box and protest the good hearted is to be dishearten

0

jenmwaite 4 years, 9 months ago

A lot of these comments are really hard to read. I cannot believe how devalued teachers have become and how removed most of these comments seem to be from what is the reality of education.
First, teachers work more than most people! Calvin Hobbs, you had it right. They not only put those hours in but many, many more at home and on the weekends grading and planning. If any of you knew a teacher, you would understand that the job of a teacher is much more than a 40 hour a week job. And they are the most important people in your childrens lives beside you. They are the people that have the second most influence on your children. Pay the respect that is due to them.

Second, cutting classes is not the answer. If you cut classes you are devaluing whole population of children within your school. AnitaDuncce you need to think about your statement: Do our kids really need to be able to draw in the real world. Hell yea they need to be able to draw. Their are careers in graphic design, advertising, architecture, city planning, teaching, computer design, etc. etc. etc. that all require that you know how to draw. And Art and classes like that are about so much more than the skills, they are about developing a part of the brain that is left behind in all the other classes that kids participate in the day. An ENTIRE SIDE of our brain depends on development through skills such as art and music. If kids never learn how to think creatively, they will be left behind in the real world. Creativity is vital to survival in a business environment. Not to mention that there are a huge chunk of kids that go to school expressely for these classes. The fact is that drop out rates increase when you cut programs like these.

We all need to think more about what we want to cut before throwing around these wild suggestions. No classes should be cut, find other ways!!!!

0

Anitadunnce 4 years, 9 months ago

Reply to jenmwaite @4:58pm on 3/5: "No classes should be cut, (sic.) find other ways!!!!"

In a perfect world, jen, these tough decisions would not have to be made. I'm afraid that many (YOU) are not yet facing the reality of the situation. If you want to "find other ways", jen, then I suggest that you come up with some ideas, since you are so critical of mine.

For the record, here is my comment regarding the issue of art class at the H.S. and M.S. (snipped for brevity): "Do our middle schoolers and high schoolers really need to be able to draw in order to make it in the world, to hold a job, to pay a mortgage, to feed their families? If students do have natural talent, then they are sketching and molding clay at home and on their own time already, aren't they, and won't those kids go on to take art classes at community colleges or 4-year institutions?

The high school principal, Thom Schnellinger, taught art before he decided to go after a bigger paycheck as an administrator, so maybe he could hold an after-school art class once a week for those students who are interested….. sort of like “Art Club”. We could save money that would have been paid out in art teachers' salaries and also put that school time to better use."

A fair reading of my previous comment would indicate that I do recognize the importance of art class and have sought alternative methods for the students, gifted in graphic design or not, to obtain some practice and instruction in art.

Reply to eieiolrighty @533pm on 2/26: I would have responded sooner, but I have been in California for a family funeral and just read your comment tonight.

It sounds like you have a bee in your bonnet, Buddy, regarding all of my suggestions/comments/ questions. I am glad that your daughter is involved in H.S. activities. I think it is a real shame, however, that you don't seem to know when and where her clubs meet.... that does not indicate a whole lot of parental involvement and supervision by you, eieio.

HOW am I negative about our students in Craig??? I have expressed clearly (I thought it was clear, but you obviously missed the point) that I have grave concerns for the kiddos who feel excluded, left out, detached because they have neither musical nor particular athletic talent.

Do Kliebold and Harris ring any bells for you? How about Tim McVeigh? More recently, how about the young guy who shot two kids at a middle school in Colorado a week or so ago? Every blessed one of these examples indicate folks who felt excluded, made fun of, ostracized in one or more ways. Can you think of any constructive ways to get ALL kids involved, or is it just easier, and a whole lot more fun, for you anonymously to attack me?

By the way, I get my information from my daughter and her friends. Trust me when I say that most of the kids do not seem to know what clubs are available or when they meet. She is involved in several activities. Not all of her friends are.

0

jenmwaite 4 years, 9 months ago

My point about this is that people would never consider cutting a science class yet to a large number of students their art classes are every bit as important to them as their other classes. Music and art and classes like these create students that are very well rounded and have the option to enter any career that they want. If kids are not getting art education, when they go to college and decide to take these classes, they are already years behind. College classes for art are the same as other classes, they assume you have a prior knowledge.

An art club is a nice idea but I truly doubt that Principal Schnellinger has the time to run something like this on top of all the duties he is currently responsible for. I feel that people are not understanding that careers in education are full time and even more. And an art club will also require funding, where is that coming from if we can't even pay for the class.

I am merely suggesting that we look for new ways to cut the budget. Use less electricity. Have the teachers turn their lights off as much as possible. Use grants and fundraisers to help certain programs. A community meeting where people come together and people from all different aspects of the community come up with ideas would be a great way to start. I am sure there are a lot of creative minds that would love to get to work on this.

I just would hate to see the students of Moffat County miss out on the education that art classes can provide. This article details it well: http://www.artistshelpingchildren.org/articlescribbles6.html

It talks about the brain research that is going on that shows how visual arts help young children learn to read and conceptualize.

It is an excellent read.

I was a student at Moffat County not too long ago and I am now pursuing a career in Art Education. I did well in the other subjects that were presented to me in school, but I loved LOVED my art classes. In all reality, I couldn't wait to get out of high school and wanted to graduate as early as possible. Art classes kept me hanging in there and I spent a large portion of my senior year in the art room. In my art classes I not only learned how to paint, draw etc., but I also learned how to problem solve, calculate dimensions, research various topics among many other things. Now imagine if my situation was changed by the fact that I didn't care whether or not I graduated. If those art classes weren't there, I don't know that school would have mattered to me at all. There are a good deal of students that feel that way, and all I am asking is that they are considered at every turn of this decision making process. Students should be the heart of these discussions no matter what classes we are discussing cutting.

0

native_craig_guy 4 years, 9 months ago

AnitaDunce I swear that you have got to be one of the most ignorant and foolish people that I have ever read. Cutting art and music classes. If they are going to be cutting anything it should be the sports programs. I am willing to bet that they cost tons more money than the art programs. And as far as requiring art and band teachers to do more non paid work that is ridiculous. These people are already low paid and you want them to work more to be fair? I would love to see things from your point of view but I don't think I can stick my head that far up my rectum, do you even see daylight any more?

0

Anitadunnce 4 years, 9 months ago

Reply to jenmwaite@2:31PM on 3/7: I AM a teacher, so you're "preachin' to the choir" as they say.

Missing a goofy high school ART class is NOT the same has having foundation in science or math or composition or history/government. Don't kid yourself. Further, walk through the high school art classes, where the kids routinely violate the school rule regarding ipods and generally have a free-for-all. There may be a serious art student in the bunch somewhere, but more often those classes are a dumping ground for UNserious students who need a few more credits to graduate, and they don't want to do a BIT of work to earn them. If you don't believe me, just ask around. I am not the only person in town who knows this!

Teachers can just "turn off their lights"? Are you for real? The teachers ALREADY turn off their lights when the room is not in use, and they have been doing that for years, and you can see how swimmingly that has solved the entire educational budget crunch.

Reply to craignative (or some variation of that moniker) at 7:58pm on 3/7: I'll ignore your comment about my alleged ignorance, alleged foolishness, and alleged rectal challenges, because you have shown yourself for what you are, and you need no comment from me when you have proven your own cluelessness and rudeness so well. Hold onto your shorts, Big Boy, because the cuts are just starting.... in all likelihood, you will get your wish regarding sports cuts. BTW, you sound kinda bitter...... didn't make first string, huh? That's really tough, Man.... Cry me a river!! You may also get your PE cuts, art cuts, music cuts..... just wait, because this mess is far from over.

0

maverick 4 years, 9 months ago

Before you give the school district one more penny, ask them how much they spent on tetradata and scantron systems that were supposed to be the solutions to all of the schools' woes! Lots of money! Why not ask this question?

0

jenmwaite 4 years, 9 months ago

Just because you don't think art is important, does not make it goofy. How can you devalue something that is so important to so many people? let alone to many of your students? It is really unfortunate that there are people let alone other teachers that feel that way. You may not think it is as important as a science class, but I can guarantee that there is quite a few students that would argue and tell you that art is their most important subject.

And yes teachers can turn their lights off. Most of the classrooms are well lit by windows (keep in mind, I was a student there). I know several teachers in the district and other districts that teach that way currently. It is calming to the students and cuts costs in a big way.

Obviously you are going to continue to disrespect the opinions of others and that is no way to get anything done.

I hope with my whole heart that the district feels differently than you do. I will be making my case for the arts as long as I can in Moffat County and elsewhere.

0

westslopeguy 4 years, 9 months ago

I realize this is dated, and perhaps irrelevant at this point, but I was astounded when I had a child at MCHS in the football and track program. He graduated in 2001, but I digress... He was allowed to participate in BOTH of these programs with no additional fees to us the parents.

Then at the end of the school year I received a bill from the district for BOOK FEES.

What am I missing when extracurricular activities taken advantage of by a small percentage of our student body are covered by our tax funds, but BOOK FEES, required by EVERY STUDENT in the district, are charged to the parents, AFTER paying taxes to allegedly educate our children?

Someone who has children in MOCO schools, please tell me this practice is no longer in effect!

My 2cents

0

Anitadunnce 4 years, 9 months ago

Reply to jenmwaite @7:521pm on 3/9: Jen, this is the last response that I intend to send to you on this topic. You appear still to think the way that some high school kids think when it comes to ineffective debate techniques. It is NOT effective, and it is NOT meaningful debate, when all you do is to re-phrase the same tired arguments to which I already have responded, and with which I still disagree. We disagree. I think you are wrong. I do not know how else to phrase it for you.

No, the teachers cannot teach in dark classrooms. There is the safety issue. There is the ongoing student violation of texting under the desks when students who have no interest in learning think the teacher cannot see them. There is also the fact that window light (on sunny days) does not illuminate the desks over by the blackboard.

Besides all of the above, how will the students who refuse to work in their core classes be able to see when they doodle and do other artwork in their notebooks during our core classes?

I have said this twice before, but I apparently have to say it again: in a perfect world filled with adequate funding, ALL subjects should be kept. When tough decisions have to be made, SOMEthing has to go. I submit that it should be Art and the performance arts rather than math, science, social studies/history, or literature/composition.

I suggested an "art club". You don't like that idea, either. You think that "Principal Thom Schnellinger" has no time for it. He also has no classroom control according to folks who know him from Buena Vista, so maybe it wouldn't work. It sounds like it might just be a free-for-all, so scrap the art club idea. Art students can sketch in pencil or charcoal or use pastels or mold clay on their own time. They can also buy art books IF they are so interested in the art subject matter, rather than just filling time with an art class and wasting a period in which they want to do NO work..... which is the reason that most of them sign up for art class.

Because there is supposed to be cross-over and cooperation among the classes, art and music students should be required to do some research and write at least one research paper each quarter. How many times have the math and science teachers heard that from Schnellinger at a faculty meeting? Students are supposed to write, write, write, and NOT just in English class. IF students actually had to do some academic work in art class, then they would not be filling the classes for "easy credits".

Maybe "goofy" was the wrong word for the situation. I should have said "young", "immature", and not yet experienced or seasoned enough in life to differentiate between "needs" and "wants".

Now.... I have nothing more to add and no interest in spending additional time on this topic.

0

Requires free registration

Posting comments requires a free account and verification.