Mancos school board members on Monday approved the district calendar for the 2016-2017 school year.
The first day for students will be Wednesday, Aug. 17. Thanksgiving Break will be a full week, from Nov. 21-25. Christmas break is Dec. 19 to Jan. 3, with students returning on Wednesday, Jan. 4. Spring break, also a full week, will be March 20-24. The last day for students is May 24.
Students will take off every other Friday, which will be a staff professional day. Other holidays include Labor Day, Sept. 5; President’s Day, Jan. 20; and a spring holiday April 17.
The calendar includes a total of 163 days for students and 181 for teachers. The first semester for secondary students ends Dec. 16, before Christmas break begins.
Staff work days will be Aug. 11 for new staff, as well as Aug. 12, 15 and 16 for full staff. Jan. 3 also will be a staff work day, and May 25 is a staff contract day.
The board approved the calendar unanimously, but not before board president Blake Mitchell voiced some concerns. He said the school year started too early in August and proposed shortening the Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks. But Primary Principal Cathy Epps said that broken weeks are harder on teachers and less effective for student learning.
The board also voted unanimously Monday to update entrance age requirements. Children who are 5 years old on or before Aug. 31 during the year of enrollment can enter kindergarten. Transfers who do not meet that requirement may be permitted to enroll in kindergarten if the principal deems it appropriate. Four-year-olds who are identified as highly advanced gifted may also be permitted to enroll in kindergarten if the principal determines it is appropriate.
Students who are 6 years old on or before Aug. 31 of the year of enrollment can enter first grade. If a student is 5 years old on or before Oct. 1 and has attended 120 days of kindergarten in another state, they might be permitted to enroll. Five-year-olds who are identified as highly advanced gifted may be permitted to enroll in first grade if the principal determines it is appropriate.
The board also voted unanimously Monday to revise graduation requirements for incoming secondary students. The new requirements will take effect for the high school class of 2020.
For the honors diploma, a total of 26 credits per year is required, including:
4 credits each of English, mathematics, science, social studies and academic electives,2 credits each of foreign language and general electives, and1 credit each of physical education and health.For a general diploma, 26 credits per year are required, including:
4 credits each of English and academic electives,3 credits each of mathematics, science and social studies1 credit each of foreign language, physical education and health, and6 credits of general electives.The board voted to appoint Tim Hunter to fill the vacancy on the school board. They also voted to approve the purchase of an industrial dishwasher for the kitchen in the amount of $8,666.
The board approved the district staff for the 2016-2017 school year, including the following resignations:
Emily Benke, high school social studies teacher,Jack Varcados, high school science teacher,Laura Prow, high school language teacher,Shelby Nadeau, route driver, andGenevieve Vannest, Mancos Early Learning Center teacher.The board approved the hire of Jennifer Sanderson for the role of Mancos Early Learning Center paraprofessional.
Board members, as well as Superintendent Brian Hanson and district business manager Chrissie Miller, held an executive session at the beginning of the meeting, to discuss purchase, acquisition, lease, transfer or sale of property. No action was taken and no decisions were made during the executive session.