D55 board postpones calendar decision; charter petition referred to state

The Blackfoot School Board of Trustees plan to gather additional input from parents, teachers and students before making a decision on the 2012-2013 school year calendar.
At issue is when to start and end the school year—in August or September and before or after Memorial Day.
A survey conducted in November that was emailed to parents only received 127 responses. The same survey will be distributed at elementary parent teacher conferences in the coming weeks and to students at secondary schools in February.
Two parents spoke during the public forum at the start of the meeting requesting the start day be moved to September because the weather is still nice in August and classrooms can top 90 degrees in the afternoon.
Trustee Mary Jo Marlow said several parents have discussed the calendar with her and also favor a later start date.
A committee has been established to review the results and determine a recommendation on the calendar, which will likely be heard again at the March board meeting.
The trustees also took action on the proposed Chief Targhee Academy, an elementary charter school in Fort Hall, and referred the charter petition to the Idaho Public Charter School Commission.
Vice Chairman Pete Lipovac said the petition needed to be expedited, so no presentation from representatives of the charter school was received nor was there a public hearing.
The board also updated three policies regarding trustee nomination and election, high school graduation requirements and early graduation to comply with new state laws.
At the start of the meeting, Blackfoot High School speech and debate teacher and forensics coach Cherie Clawson was recognized for being named the Idaho Speech Arts Teacher Association's Speech Teacher of the Year and for earning he second degree diamond for attaining 7,200 points in the National Forensic League. A coach is awarded 1/10th of the points earned by students, who earn six points for winning a debate.