Ladies swim team asks Moffat County Schools to keep high school pool open one more year |

Ladies swim team asks Moffat County Schools to keep high school pool open one more year

Moffat County Girls Swim team members were presented to the Board of Education Thursday and spoke about the impact of the news that the high school pool will be closed. Pictured from left: Molly Neton, Alyssa Chavez, Kelsey McDiffett, Alexa Neton and Katelynn Turner.
Sasha Nelson/staff

CRAIG — Emotions ran high during Thursday’s meeting of the Moffat County School District Board of Education, as students, coaches and the community spoke out about the planned closure of the high school pool.

The swirl of emotions included pride. The state-qualifying girls swim team was presented to the board, and a video of the relay race team members swam at the state meet was shown.

During the public comment period a short time later, the girls, their coaches and swim program volunteers spoke about the importance of the high school pool.

“We believe that, with communication and hard work, we can come with a solution for our pool. As a community, time is the only obstacle standing in our way …” said high school swimmer Alyssa Chavez, on behalf of the team.

The team asked the board and superintendent for another year.

“Our solution to this dilemma is to keep the pool alive until we can build a rec center for our community,” Chavez said. “We have proven ourselves in the pool. We are now asking for permission to prove ourselves in the community.”

The board will take up the fate of the pool as part of its budget discussions for the 2018-19 school year.

The school board also took the following actions during Thursday’s meeting.

• Approved new attendance boundaries for Craig Elementary schools. Boundaries were not adopted in January due to concerns that some students would be bused past Sandrock. That situation was resolved after a census of students in early February determined that those students would be able to attend Sandrock and still meet the school board’s requirements for the even distribution of student across each school.

• Considered a resolution to create new boundaries for Maybell school, which would have seen students in Lay attend Maybell. The resolution resulted in a tied vote of the six-member board. A tie vote requires that the status quo be maintained. The board requested more information about the possible impact of setting a new boundary for Maybell before reconsidering its decision.

• Following an executive session, approved the non-renewal recommendation for one teacher.

• Held a second executive session relative to the superintendent’s evaluation and contract. Following the session, the board passed a resolution to allow board President JoAnn Baxter and board Vice President Lee Atkin to negotiate Ulrich’s contract for later board approval.

• Gave its consent to adopting the minutes of meetings held on Jan. 25 and Feb. 6, the treasurer’s report for January and personnel recommendations for February.

• Approved a measure to amend a letter of credit, as requested by the school district’s health insurance provider.

Board members also heard the following reports.

• Student Council presidents for both the high school and middle school presented activity reports.

• Baxter reported on a proposed ballot measure which, if certified, would appear on the ballot in November. If enacted, the measure would see an increase of more than $1.6 billion for schools raised through increases in state and corporate income taxes and reductions in residential and non-residential assessment formula.

• During the superintendent’s report, School Resource Officer Ryan Fritz introduced SRO in training, officer Nathan Businger, before providing the board with a presentation about measures taken to keep Moffat County’s public schools safe.

• During a work session before the board meeting, Tina Goar, director of Northwest Colorado Board of Cooperative Educational Services, gave a presentation about the organization, which supports special education and professional learning for to the district.

• A second presentation was provided by the board of education lawyer David Price, from Hoskins, Farina and Kampf Professional Corporation, about the basic laws governing the board.

• Board members briefly discussed the idea of asking voters to reconfigure the board. The current configuration calls for seven board members, each living in and representing one of seven geographic districts. However, given that the District 6 seat has been vacant since November, leaving no way to resolve tied votes, reconfiguration is being considered.

“Over the past 40 years, this board has always had seven members, but some larger school districts, like Jefferson County, only have five. We’ll have to do more work on it,” Baxter said.

Ideas include reducing the number of board members from seven to five, allowing a portion of or all board members to represent the community-at-large rather than a specific district or a combination of those ideas.

Board members have until July to determine if they will go to voters proposing a change, and they intend to continue their discussion during a work session in March.

Contact Sasha Nelson at 970-875-1794 or


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