Hayden approves student activity fees

Incoming Hayden band students have to pay $50 for uniforms while student athletes do not pay for uniforms.

On Wednesday, some parents wondered why several academic-related activities -- some of which already involve student costs -- were included in a student/activity fee proposal.

"I have no problem with a flat student fee or sports fee. ... I do have a problem with FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America), band and speech club being jumbled into that," Michelle Hoza said during a Hayden School Board meeting.

She argued that the travel involved in the activities was not as frequent as athletics.

"It's just not within the same ball of wax," she said.

Her husband, board member Brian Hoza, worried that fees would deter participation in the programs.

The activity fee proposal involves two sets of fees, including a flat $10 fee for all students and fees for sports. Hayden High School students would pay a maximum of $75 for two or more sports, and middle school students would pay no more than $45 for two or more sports.

The board approved the fee schedule and decided the activity fees would apply only to sports. Board president Kurt Frentress was the only board member who voted against the fee schedule. He did not elaborate about his decision.

Whether to include band, speech and FBLA has been the most "hotly debated" issue regarding student fees, Sup--erintendent Mike Luppes said.

Regional field trips and competitions often are covered by department budgets and fund raising, but the school district foots most of the transportation, lodging and food bills for state and higher-level events.

Board member Troy Wert--enberger and Athletics Director Kevin Kleckler pointed out that those events often are in expensive places such as Aspen and Vail.

Charging for the programs would "muddy the waters" in terms of whether or not to charge for activities related to science fair, history day and other academic-related activities, he said.

Luppes also pointed out that the flat $10 fee is meant to help cover costs of field trips and clubs.

Also Wednesday, the School Board discussed disappointing Colorado Student Assessment Program scores in reading.

Overall, the district -- excluding fourth and fifth grades, where scores were marred by a coding error -- was 63 percent proficient in reading.

That's a drop from previous years and below the state average of 66 percent, Luppes said.

The district is looking at a number of factors, including how to improve students' attitudes toward testing, he said.

Board member Patty Bruchez suggested that the district also look at areas where students did well, such as third- and fourth-grade math, where proficiency was significantly better than the state average.

"I think we should look at where there were some successes and figure out why they went up," she said.

Although the district is unhappy with overall CSAP scores, "it may be exactly the motivation we need to get the staff to make some necessary changes," Luppes said.

Those changes likely will come in the form of Professional Learning Communities, an educational philosophy designed to help teachers better evaluate whether students are learning and develop strategies to help those who aren't learning.

Hayden schools began implementing the philosophy during the past school year. Groups of teachers have attended several PLC conferences this summer.

"Just because we're teaching doesn't mean they're learning," Luppes said. "That's the biggest hurdle we need to work on."

In other business, the School Board:

Approved raising the pay for substitutes from $80 to $85 a day.

Approved a full-time Spanish teacher who will teach some classes to students in North Park via videoconference. The North Park School District will share the teacher cost.

Hired Eilleen Coffelt to teach art at Hayden Valley Elementary School one day a week.

Hired Ryan Wilke, Nathan Frentress and Bob Harris as high school assistant football coaches.

Hired Kim Temple as middle school assistant volleyball coach and John Svoboda as middle school assistant football coach.

-- To reach Tamera Manzanares call 871-4204 or e-mail tmanzanares@steamboatpilot.com

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