by Brian Orr
GARDNER- In an unusually streamlined and rancor-free meeting, the Re-1 School Board met Tuesday night at Gardner School.
The Board whizzed through their agenda, signing off on all of interim Superintendent Patricia Martinez’s proposals.
The big ticket item was the agreement to purchase a new integrated reading program for kindergarten through sixth grade.
“Storytime,” by Houghton Mifflin, integrates reading, writing and spelling the best, according to the review committee of teachers set up to look over various reading systems. The cost for the new system will be approximately $63,791.
On the flip side of that, the Board approved of the disposal of outdated and no longer useful textbooks from Peakview and Gardner schools.
The Board approved a heating, ventilation and air conditioning system for the TSJC building next to John Mall. The overall cost for this is $17,500. This should improve the comfort in the building, as well as save money over the long haul.
John Mall Principal Trudy Vader told the Board about a partnership with Colorado State University, where CSU will pay for tuition, books and fees for any John Mall grads. Since CSU is a big jump up for some students, the program is extended to Trinidad State Junior College, Pueblo Community College and Otero Junior College, with an eye towards transferring to CSU later.
In other business, the Board approved the non-renewal of instructional aides, effective May 23, with the eye towards re-hiring them in August before school starts back up. The Board also approved the non-renewal of school cooks and non-probationary teachers.
The two non-probationary teachers need to obtain their Highly Qualified teaching certificates before they can be re-hired, but the Board noted both teachers are working hard on this.
Mr. Cleveland Clinton, Re-1’s music program teacher is one of these. As he goes, so goes the District’s music program. At this time, Clinton is not sure he will have his done in time.
Superintendent Martinez had this to say about the future of Re-1’s music program: “It’s still a go. If Mr. Clinton gets his Highly Qualified teaching certificate, there shouldn’t be a reason for him not to be re-hired. Of course, it’ll be the new superintendent’s decision. I’d like to see him be able to concentrate on the higher grades, and let the grades one, two and three be taught music in their own classrooms. I’d like to see him start on getting a band together.”
The search for a new superintendent is almost over- the final three candidates can be met today (Thursday) at Peakview at 5:30 pm.