Moffat County school administrators clarify calendar confusion
October 29, 2015
Craig — Moffat County School District administrators have stated that no alternative school calendars are being considered for implementation in the next school year.
"There is no active calendar committee with any active, new calendars being presented for the 2016-17 school year," said MCSD Superintendent Brent Curtice.
Moffat County parent Gayle Zimmerman felt the district's objectives weren't clear to teachers or parents, however, who were expecting the calendar to be presented to the public this fall based on discussion from a March school board meeting.
Zimmerman pointed to the school board meeting minutes from March 26, where it stated that the calendar committee had completed its work and would present it to the public in the fall.
The publicly posted March 26 meeting minutes state, "Due to time constraints, the board would like to roll over the current calendar for the 2015-16 school year and begin discussing proposed changes next fall to allow time for public meetings and input. The calendar committee has completed their work and will be ready to share their findings in the fall."
The calendar was addressed again at the May 28 school board meeting at which Executive Director of School Supports and Personnel Renae Dove, who co-chaired the calendar committee, shared two calendar options for the 2016-17 school year that had been developed by the committee, according to the meeting minutes.
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Curtice issued an apology to the school board and to the community at the Oct. 22 Board of Education meeting for them being misled about the calendar issue following two Daily Press articles published Oct. 16 and Oct. 21.
"The perception was that it was going on right now and we're about ready to deliver this to the community," Curtice said. "That was the perception and that was what I had to apologize for."
Curtice and Dove explained that school calendars require a great deal of time and community input before any changes can be implemented, and that the public input process never got under way.
"Part of the calendar committee discussion was we understand this is a sensitive topic," Dove said. "Every time the community talks about the calendar, it's important. And when we didn't have clear direction from the board in the spring, it was done."
The committee has not re-convened since the start of this school year, Dove said, and a new committee would be formed if and when the board decided to look into calendar options. She added that the two alternative calendars for the 2016-17 school year were templates and not necessarily intended to be implemented in the 2016-17 school year.
To Zimmerman, the meeting minutes indicate that the proposed calendars were a final product of the calendar committee.
"Those were the options that were presented to the board and I don't buy that this was a template," Zimmerman said.
Zimmerman was one of more than a dozen parents who signed a letter to the editor published Oct. 21 citing concerns with the alternative calendars and the calendar process.
With four board seats turning over in the November election, outgoing Board President JB Chapman said the issue will remain tabled until the new board is seated and decides whether it's an issue they want to address.