Thompson School Board prepares for new members

By Aaron Reynolds

The Surveyor

The Thompson School District (TSD board of education held a short and sweet meeting at Berthoud High School on Oct. 18. Unlike previous meetings, the range of topics and length of discussion did not expand much past an hour, as the board is certain to have a new look after the Nov. 7 Larimer County election, and thus will delay many of the critical decisions it must make regarding the future of the district.

Current board members Bryce Carlson and Carl Langner announced over the past couple of months they would not seek reelection, consequently opening two new seats within the board. Those vacancies are currently being sought by Paul Bankes and Barbara Kruse, both of which are former district employees and neither of which are facing opposition in the election. Meanwhile, current president of the board, Lori Hvizda Ward, is also up for reelection and is running unopposed. 

Given the changeover the board will soon face, the Oct. 18 meeting presented little the remaining members could settle on before two new candidates are sworn in after mid-November.

The board did, however, discuss a recommendation for a calendar-committee task force to help with future scheduling conflicts. As previously reported, the TSD is heavily considering adding late starts to future school year calendars which would require eventual approval from the board.

While the board has not demonstrated if they would approve such a resolution, members have mentioned in the past they are open to having a dialogue. According to Dr. Bill Siebers, chief human resource officer at TSD, the district currently has 169 “contact days” with students, noting one suggestion is to get the calendar up to 173 days for next year. One potential remedy Siebers advised would be to present not one, but two, school calendars for consideration from which the board can select.

Siebers also mentioned the purpose of a calendar-committee task force is to “solve the things that are getting in the way of student achievement,” adding since the district did away with early-release on Wednesdays, teachers have had less time to plan and prepare for the classroom.

The five board members in attendance at the Oct. 18 meeting also approved October officially be designated as “National Principals Month” in the state of Colorado as previously proclaimed by Governor Hickenlooper. Additionally, the week of Oct. 16-20 was approved as “Classified Staff Appreciation Week” within TSD.

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