From the pages of
Pinedale Roundup
Volume 105, Number 12 - March 20, 2008
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

School year extended for 2008-09

by Jennie Oemig

County School District (SCSD) #1 Board of Trustees on March 13, Pinedale High School seniors can anticipate a later graduation date and students and teachers a later end date.

Before the board members went ahead with approval, Superintendent Doris Woodbury spoke to the motion, informing them that alterations would have to be made in the future in order for the district to align itself with state requirements.

“If we adopt this calendar, we will need to move the graduation date from the Friday before Memorial Day to a later date,” she pointed out. “ … I just wanted to let you know that there is an impact if we approve the calendar.”

Because monies that the district collects are based on average daily attendance (ADA), Woodbury said it would be in the board’s best interest to consider keeping the seniors in school longer.

“If they’re more than 10 days out, you will have to drop them and not get ADA for them,” Woodbury said of the policy.

If graduation were to remain concurrent with the Memorial Day holiday, the seniors would graduate on May 22, 2009, while the remainder of students would continue until the end of the academic year on June 10, 2009.

“We would have to drop all of our seniors,” Woodbury said, adding that she would recommend pushing graduation back to a Friday or Saturday after the holiday. “… I really believe we need to move it off the Memorial Day weekend and keep our kids longer.”

While June 5 has been the ending date of the school year for several years, the way in which the holidays fall next year has hindered that tradition. Since the Christmas and New Year’s holidays fall on Thursdays during the upcoming academic year, the students, teachers and administrators will have two full weeks off for winter break.

After pondering the possibility of having school the Monday before Christmas to shorten the proposed school year a little, chair Bret Kingsbury determined that it wouldn’t be sensible.

“Well, how many kids are going to come on Monday when they can leave on Friday and be in Hawaii on Saturday?” he pointed out.

With Pinedale hosting the District Music Festival on April 16-17, 2009, Woodbury also noted that two teacher inservice days had to be moved from August to April to accommodate the event.

“You can’t have classes when you have a festival,” she said, informing the board that all the space would be needed for the several hundred music students from the region. The board will determine at a later date when the 2009 graduation ceremony will take place.

In other SCSD #1 news:

• During his report to the board, middle school principal Kevan Kennington expressed his concern about the size of the fourth grade class that will make its way into his building this fall.

“There are 77 fourth graders who will be going into fifth grade next year,” he said. “I was told, ‘Visit with the board and let them know you’re concerned with the fourth grade.’”

While he said he knows the enrollment could still go down before the 2008-09 academic year commences, Kennington wanted to be sure the board knew that it might be necessary for the middle school to bring in another fifth grade teacher.

“I just want you to be aware that we might be doing that in the future,” he said.

• The board accepted the resignations of special education director Brad Martin and first grade teacher Missy Davis, effective at the end of the 2007-08 academic year.

• Doug Northrup, the district’s transportation director, received permission from the board to trade in two buses with an allowance of $10,000 and to purchase three new Blue Bird buses from Elder Equipment in Casper for $299,485.

• The board approved the assignments of Dave Petersen as the head junior varsity (JV) soccer coach, Jennifer Woolf as the assistant JV soccer coach and Larry Proud, Kendall Horrocks and Mitch Irrgang as the middle school track coaches.

• In order to extend the Pathway Project, the construction of a section of the bike path and walkway through the school district’s property was approved by the board.

The next meeting of the SCSD #1 Board of Trustees will be at 7:30 p.m. on April 9 in the boardroom of the administration building.

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