Moffat County School Board discusses state-level issues


In other action

At its monthly meeting Thursday night, the Moffat County School District Board of Education:

• Heard a report from the Craig Lions Club about recent vision screenings for local children

• Heard a report from Moffat County High School choir teacher about the school’s fall musical, “Grease,” which will feature performances Nov. 21, 22 and 23.

• Heard a report on the progress of the Understanding by Design system from district teachers including Mariah Doolin, Sara Linsacum, Vera Turner, Stephanie Zimmerman, Andi Murphy, Cheryl Arnett and Amy Jones.

• Noted the meeting as the last full one with the current board before vacant seats are voted for Nov. 5. Board members Sandie Johns and Karen Stillion have served for eight years, the maximum length allowed.

“It has been absolutely my pleasure and privilege to be part of the educational program of this community for 34 years,” Johns said.

If you go

What: Moffat County School District Board of Education retreat

When: 8 a.m. Friday

Where: School District Administration Building, 775 Yampa Ave.

The meeting is open to the public.

It’s never too early to start thinking about the future.

During its Thursday meeting, the Moffat County School Board of Education heard a report from board member Christine Balderston about the Fall Conference and Delegate Assembly for Colorado Association of School Boards, which she attended Oct. 11 and 12 in Denver.

Among the topics Balderston brought up was the conference’s discussion of Colorado House Bill 07-1118, which will set new guidelines for standardized testing within the state. The bill originally was brought forth in 2007, intended to raise the standards of testing for students entering high school as freshmen in 2009 who would have graduated last spring.

Instead, the bill’s target date has been pushed back considerably thanks to additional deliberation on how to best handle the shift.

“This won’t really take effect until the 2020-21 school year, so it’s our sixth-graders who will see it,” Balderston said.

Tests that determine career and college readiness that will go through changes down the road are the ACT, SAT, Advanced Placement, Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery, among others, as well as the grade requirements of students with dual enrollment in high school and college courses.

Scores in English and math will have new minimum scores, as well as in other subjects on certain tests.

“It would have affected the TCAP if it would have happened when it was supposed to, but now that will end up being PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers),” Balderston said.

Balderston said she was glad to be up to date through an organization like Colorado Association of School Boards, which serves as a network for school boards throughout Colorado to learn about how decisions and policies made at the state level will impact individual communities.

“They’re just invaluable to us,” she said. “They provide a forum for us to ask questions, they bring in experts to come talk to us.”

Balderston said she tries to stay as informed as possible at each association event, with educational materials expected to be a help as Moffat County School District prepares for a change with new board members.

“With new people, that will be their responsibility to adhere to all these different things,” she said.

Balderston is among the board members seeking re-election in November. She also will seek an elected position with the association’s Region 7, which includes Craig, Hayden and Steamboat Springs, among other towns of Northwest Colorado, providing she wins.

“You have to serve locally if you want to be at the state level with CASB,” she said.

Randy Black, CASB’s director of member relations, was in attendance at the meeting, as well, reminding the board of the state organization’s annual convention in December in Colorado Springs.

“It’s the biggest gathering of superintendents and school board members in the state,” he said. “It’s just a constant daily smorgasbord of activities for people, and the biggest strength of Colorado Association of School Boards is how much the members learn from each other.”

The convention will offer those in attendance to see how different regions conduct their business. Black said he thinks Moffat County to be a strong, well-organized district.

“They do their governing very well, and they’ve got a set up of taking stuff from the classroom to the boardroom that’s got me interested,” he said.

Black also will be in attendance Friday morning, as the board hosts a retreat for anyone in the community who wants to observe, taking place at 8 a.m. in the administration building conference room.

Andy Bockelman can be reached at 970-875-1793 or


Jayne Morley 3 years, 6 months ago

Patrick, Do you feel your comment was professional, kind, or a good example for our community’s children? I realize you are running for a seat on the board. This is not the way to convince folks you are the best candidate. You owe Mrs. Balderston an apology in my opinion.


Jayne Morley 3 years, 6 months ago

Patrick, Your letter to the editor in today’s CDP is actually refreshing. You speak of what your intentions are should you be elected. That is what folks need to know. Speak of the situational problem & your planned efforts to improve it. When you focus on the current members personally, it lessens the message of what you would like to do for the community. Our current system is failing. Let’s keep our focus on meeting the goal of improved education. Discussing who is to blame does not fix the tragedy & diverts our attention away from our desired goal. I personally want, and can support someone who will focus on raising the bar for our children’s education. That can’t be achieved by finger pointing by any of us. Let’s focus on the problem. For example, has anyone analyzed why our children aren’t doing as well as we expect? What changes can we make to achieve a clearly defined goal? Do we as a community even have a clearly defined goal? My hope is that our goal does not focus simply on test scores. Children need to obtain emotional, social, and critical thinking skills as well. I think you & I agree on this point. My greatest fear is that our children will lose critical thinking skills in the current environment. Too much focus is placed on electronic gadgets & applications that simply teach the child how to navigate the application. How do they survive if there is a power outage, loss of internet access, or failure of cell phone service? Could they read a physical map, know if they are receiving the correct change after a purchase, and understand a ballot measure? The responsibility for a child’s education does not rest solely on the school system; parents must embrace their responsibility and work in partnership with the school. How can we get all parents engaged? Your idea of opening up board meetings for public input has great value & I support it. This is what we need to know. Please don’t make me wade through the mud to find your message. Your ideas have far greater value & impact when they stay focused what you intend to contribute if elected.


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