The Haxtun-Fleming Herald - What can we reason but from what we know? -Alexander Pope

By Candie Fix
Managing Editor 

Haxtun BOE preps for next school year with assignments, calendar & contract

 

March 16, 2022



Preparation for the 2022-23 school year is in full-force as board members continue to discuss personnel assignments for the coming year. In addition to approving re-assignments and a coaching position for next year, the Haxtun Board of Education adopted the school calendar and approved a motion to extended Superintendent Marsha Cody’s contract.

Board members Audree Edwards, ChristiAnne Gibson, Abby Henry, Amy Kilgour, Dean Michael and Rich Starkebaum were all present for the Tuesday, March 8 meeting scheduled a week ahead of the typical meeting date due to spring break. Steve Hadeen appeared via web using teleconferencing technology.

Superintendent Cody opened the meeting with her report to board members, including an in-depth breakdown of re-assignments and open positions for the coming year. Cody noted that the elementary counselor position, previously paid for by ESSER funds, will be included in next year’s budget as will be adding a second kindergarten teacher. She said other positions that will affect next year’s budget include an hourly business manager during the transition from retiree Lynda Firme to whoever is hired to take her place. The addition of a part-time technology director, shared with Holyoke Schools, will also be reflected in the coming year’s figures.

Other changes include Havilah Andersen’s transition from full-time to half- or three-quarters. She currently teaches junior high science. Cody said a para-professional position currently held by Bonnie Jackson will not be filled next year as of current numbers. Jackson plans to retire at the end of this school year.

According to Cody, with changes to employees retiring and adding new positions, next year’s budget will reflect the addition equivalent to one and a half full-time positions. Haxtun Schools is currently seeking a business manager, kindergarten teacher and a part-time junior high/high school band teacher. The business manager position has been advertised and plans are to begin the hiring process of interviews in the coming weeks.

2022-23 re-assignments approved by the Board include Dena Gerk from learning loss specialist to part-time sixth grade; Lindsey Goddard from first grade to reading specialist; Christie Toops from kindergarten to first grade; Tamara Ashburn from second grade to third grade; Amy Duvall from fourth grade to fifth grade and Andersen to part-time.

While discussing next year’s classroom assignments, administration and board members also talked about the transition of sixth grade from a nomadic classroom style to a hybrid, transition year to junior high. Plans are for Jessica Hofmeister to teach math, Gerk teach reading and Duvall teach writing while students rotate between the three throughout the morning. In the afternoon, sixth graders will see Dave Shafer for social studies and Andersen for science in the junior high.

“We want to make it the best ever,” said Principal Dustin Seger about the transition year between elementary and junior high for sixth graders.

Cody also spoke to the Board of Education about upcoming CMAS testing. Colorado Measures of Academic Success, or CMAS, is the State summative assessment for language arts, math, science and social studies, which align to the State academic standards. CMAS tests are designed to gauge how well students are mastering standards and how well prepared they are for their next grade level. CMAS tests are given in April.

“Let’s just do this,” Cody said while explaining that CMAS tests prepare students for mandatory testing later like the SAT. “It is prep work for those bigger tests later in high school.”

Cody said teachers and administrators use results, usually back in the summer, to measure how well students are doing and a small percentage of tests results are also used for teacher evaluations. CMAS test results for each Colorado school are required to be posted publicly.

Additionally, she noted that those who opt out are tasked with other “busy work,” which isn’t the best instruction time since teachers and staff are administering CMAS tests to other students.

Later, in the Principal’s report to the Board, secondary principal Seger gave an update on a recent visit from the Sterling Police Department’s drug dog. “I was pleasantly surprised on how well it went,” Seger said.

Seger said the dog searched both the junior high and high school. Before running the dog through the building, Seger said he and Haxtun Police Chief Nathon Nadow gave a presentation to students about the dangers of vaping and the use of drugs, narcotics and other unhealthy substances. The two also gave students the option for a one-time pass to turn in anything on their possession they should not have. A box was placed in the junior high and high school and students were allowed to turn things into the box before the dog entered the school.

Seger said nothing was turned in the box or found by the dog in the junior high. As for the high school, two vape pens, five cartridges and 29 prescription pills were turned into the box.

“Students had the opportunity to turn in anything they had on them or their vehicles before we used the dog,” Seger said. He added that the dog did not find any other substances during the search. “Overall I was very impressed,” Seger said. “Our kids here are safe and secure and that’s what our purpose is.”

In other business the Board:

• Approved Marissa Schelling as the High School Assistant Volleyball Coach;

• Approved high school and junior high coaches for the spring season;

• Accepted a resignation from Bonnie Jackson as a para-professional effective the end of the school year;

• Approved funds for the shared Director of Technology position with Holyoke;

• Approved the 2022-23 school calendar;

• Extended Cody’s contract through June 2025.

 

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