iPad initiative makes the cut, Maybell School suspended another year | CraigDailyPress.com

iPad initiative makes the cut, Maybell School suspended another year

Lauren Blair

Darryl Steele, of Maybell, speaks to the school board Thursday night about how important keeping the Maybell School is to the local community as other Maybell residents stand behind him. Residents felt the board should make a commitment to keeping the school open and providing the resources needed to make it successful.

— The board room at the Moffat County School District administration building was standing room only for its regular monthly meeting Thursday evening, at which it opted to suspend but not permanently close Maybell School and re-inserted the iPad initiative into the budget for the 2015-16 school year.

Board member Tony Peroulis made the motion to reinsert the iPad initiative and accompanying technology specialist to the budget.

"We have to make a bold statement and we have to do it now," Peroulis said. "We have to have boots on the ground or we're gonna lose the war and we have to take a chance and I believe that now is the time to take a chance to move forward."

Peroulis' comments were met with applause, and Board President JB Chapman and Secretary Tony St. John also voiced their support for funding the technology initiative in response to hearing teachers' calls for resources in recent weeks.

"We have to start visualizing and look where we're going to be three, five even 10 years from now," St. John said. "If (teachers) get what they want for the classroom, you're going to see not an exodus, but you're going to see kids coming back."

The motion passed, again with applause from those attending, with five board members voting in favor and one board member, Darrell Camilletti, voting against it. Board member Sue Voloshin was absent, as she unexpectedly left the meeting early.

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More than a dozen people from the Maybell community attended in order to voice their wishes for the Maybell School to open next year.

"I think the community would do just about anything it took to keep that school open," said Maybell parent April McIntyre, who now homeschools her children. "We're only 30 minutes from town, but our kids were spending three hours a day on a bus."

The board considered a motion to permanently close the Maybell School and discuss how to turn it over to residents as a community center, however the motion failed 5-1, with Joel Browning voting in support. The board decided instead to suspend the school for one more year to allow for further discussion of the school's future with Maybell community members.

"If this meeting was in Maybell, I guarantee you couldn't have fit all of us into the gym," said Maybell parent Joyce Barnes. "That's how strong our community feels about it."

Other developments include:

• Vicki Hadden will move into the position of technology director for the 2015-16 school year

• News from Financial Director Tinneal Gerber the Moffat County School District was selected as one of three districts from around the state and one of 32 around the country to participate in the Government Finance Officers Association pilot group to implement the Excellence in School District Budgeting guidelines. The program will offer training and support in integrating instructional goals with financial planning.

• Passed a resolution to affirm Superintendent Brent Curtice, 5-1, with a vote in opposition from Darrell Camilletti.

The motion resolved to "extend continuing support to Mr. Curtice, his leadership, work and role as Superintendent and encourage him to stay the course with Moffat County School District as he leads our educational community towards higher achievement and 21st century learning."

Contact Lauren Blair at 970-875-1794 or lblair@CraigDailyPress.com or follow her on Twitter @CDP_Education.