Lamar Stays with Five Day School Week

All ages turn out for School Board meeting.

All ages turn out for School Board meeting.

Board members Rod Schwartz and Ron Peterson ponder budget cuts.

Board members Rod Schwartz and Ron Peterson ponder budget cuts.

The Lamar RE-2 school district will maintain its current five-day school week. Before a standing room audience that extended into the outer foyer, all but two members of the school board voted in favor of keeping the five-day week, with Allan Medina and Nancy Winsor voting to change to four days. Winsor asked if there was some form of early academic measurement that could be taken to indicate any kind of impact on the students if the school shortened the school week to four days. Superintendent Tecklenburg said the earliest measurement wouldn’t be available until January.

Board president Ron Peterson and Tim Wheaton, board member, voiced similar concerns, stating that the district had already experienced enough changes for the coming year, and favored staying with the current schedule. The changes they referred to were the closing of Lincoln elementary school and redistributing 5th grade students to Parkview and 6th grade students to Lamar Middle School, plus a number of staff cutbacks throughout the district.

The board is still faced with a shortfall in the budget and will still have to take cost-cutting measures to balance the 2011-2012 budget. Some of those steps were taken at the Monday night meeting which included discontinuing the Flow Through program at BOCES which eliminated five positions; speech therapist, three speech aides and school psychologist. They will no longer be on the RE-2 payroll, but will be funded by BOCES. Other cost cutting measures were brought about through the elimination of other positions in the district… including a full-time custodian, kindergarten aide positions at Washington Elementary and computer lab aide positions in the elementary schools. A split vote of board members approved the elimination of one business position at the high school. Board president Ron Peterson noted that this would be a financial move only and not based on the performance of the teacher. This will have some consequences to the high school FBLA program, but according to principal Rocky Robbins, it will not impact any academic studies, but will effect the business program. Resignations were accepted from Craig Forney, an extra duty for the softball program; Amy Braun, Washington Elementary; Lauren Newsom and Molly O’Brien also from Washington and Kelsey Harper from Lamar Middle School. David Chambers also submitted his resignation. Retirements were accepted from two teachers, Mike Gittings from Lincoln Elementary and Bob Heist from the Middle School. Gittings will receive a one time retirement stipend from the district.

In other action, the board approved an offer of a contract to David Tecklenburg as RE-2 Superintendent for two years, through the 2013 school year, subject to negotiations. Contracts were also approved for Kenneth Davis as Washington Elementary principal and Diane Nye as Parkview Elementary principal, both for the 2011-2012 school year. On split votes, the board approved a new contract for Rocky Robbins at Lamar High school principal and for Greg Eddy as assistant principal and athletic director for the high school. Elizabeth Whitham cast the no votes. Contracts for probationary and non-probationary teachers were approved, plus extra duty staff and classified employees for the next school year.

The annual FFA state convention trip to Alamosa for June was approved, as well as the loan of two buses and drivers to transport teams to Lamar for 16 and Under Softball World Series beginning in August. Pat Palmer, who made the request, explained that other school districts will be approached for additional transportation needs to and from Denver International Airport to bring the teams to Lamar. He said the World Series committee will take care of driver’s salaries and other transportation costs.

by Russ Baldwin

Update: Scott Dorenkamp did NOT resign his teaching position.. Only his Extra Duty position as Head Boys Basketball Coach

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