Board considers cutting activities, some bus routes

RANGELY — While the possible elimination of some school activities was tabled, pending further study, school board members Monday approved a 30-cent increase to lunch prices.
rangelypantherbigger“It’s not a big moneymaker for the district, but it’s something,” said Superintendent Dwayne Newman.
However, in another cost-saving measure, the board is considering cutting some bus routes.
“One thing (the board) has discussed is cutting some transportation,” Newman said. “The in-town bus route and the noon transportation for preschool and kindergarten kids, so that would mean parents would have to pick them up or drop them off at noon.”
The transportation cuts would save the district about $25,000, Newman said. The board will act on the proposal at its next meeting.
Meanwhile, Lisa Piering, the board’s vice president, will chair a committee that will study a reduction in some school activities, as a way to save the district money.
The committee will include the high school principal and athletic director, coaches, parents and staff.
“They will look at the whole situation again,” Newman said. “The committee will look at should they cut any activities, and get some feedback on what effect those cuts would have. This way, they will have more time to look into it, and have a recommendation for the board by November or December.
“So, things will remain unchanged for the next year, at this point, is what (the board) is thinking,” Newman added. “Programmatically things will remain the same.”
Board members had considered the possibility of eliminating activities such as Knowledge Bowl, soccer and baseball.
At the recommendation of Athletic Director Mark Jansen, the board will consider increasing student participation fees and ticket prices, as a way to help fund sports programs.
The board will also consider a change in the drug-testing program for athletes.
“We’ll look at different options for a drug-testing program,” Newman said. “We’ll still do that, but at a reduced cost. We haven’t had a positive test in a number of years. We’d like to continue (drug testing), but not (at the current rate), which is costing us $10,000.”
The board asked the superintendent to create a budget that includes a “step” salary increase for teachers and non-teachers in the district.
“A step is a predetermined raise amount,” Newman said. “In the past, for different reasons, when the budgets were tight, the board has frozen salaries, so people didn’t get their usual step increase.
“At this point, the board directed administration to present a budget that includes a step for both certified and classified employees.”
For teachers, the increase would amount to about a $740 raise.
“Then there are different salary schedules for classified employees,” Newman said.
In other business, Amy Ward, assistant principal at Rangely Middle School, submitted her resignation. She has accepted a principal’s job at North Park.
“They’ve just been outstanding,” Newman said of Ward and her husband, Allan, who teaches special education. “We sure wish them well.”
Amy Ward was one of two in-house candidates for the principal’s job at Rangely High School.
Next year, with the consolidation of grade-school classes at the middle school building, Mary Lansing will continue at principal at Parkview Elementary, and the board recently hired Robert Winn at principal at Rangely High School, replacing Nicole Walker.
“The middle school and high school will be supervised by one administrator,” Newman said. “We’ll also maintain the school names, but the locations are different. What is now the middle school, will be Parkview Elementary. And the middle school and the high school will be in the same building.”