Two ways to do that would be to offer summer school or add more days to the school year.
Ouray teachers currently work 175 days, and students are in school 170 days; the Colorado Department of Education requires a minimum of 160 school days per year.
“Doing the bare minimum drives me nuts,” said Tim Finkbeiner, elementary/middle school principal, at the Ouray School Board of Education meeting on Monday, March 24.
“His primary concern is the length of summer vacation and the ‘un-learning’ that goes on while students are away from school for three months,” according to a report by Superintendent Sandy Kern.
The board discussed the idea of adding a school day on Memorial Day, as was done in the past, and giving an extra day to spring break. Board secretary Jerry Hellman said it is the board’s intention to add more days on an incremental basis in order to extend the length of the school year over time.
If the Ouray Schools were to offer summer school, it would most likely be held closer to the start of the next school year, which would be of greater benefit to the students, according to Finkbeiner. Summer school would run for three or four weeks, ending in time to allow teachers to have administrative work days before the start of the school year.
TROJANS TO CONQUER BEARS AND CUBS? Ouray Schools may soon be represented by one mascot, the Trojan. The Ouray Board of Education discussed the change at their March 24 meeting, but no decision was made.
Currently, the middle and elementary schools are known as the Bears and the Cubs, respectively.
CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS AND MAINTENANCE
The board discussed the question of whether to hire a summertime custodian to give the school a more thorough cleaning. The employee would possibly be retained as a daytime custodian for the 2008-09 school year. Also mentioned was the need to replace some tile flooring with new carpet. This suggestion prompted discussion of general capital improvements for the building, including window coverings, toilets and plumbing.
The board approved hiring Vicki Hartlein as special education para-professional aide for a student.
The board also approved a measure to purchase a new time clock for hourly workers. The computerized system will chart leave requests, which are currently tracked by employees themselves. The system, with an initial price tag of $3,898 and $700 in annual costs, is expected to cut down on paperwork. Through time saved, the initial investment is expected to pay for itself in less than a year.