Holt School Board tentatively approves district budget

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By Caleb Nordgren
Holt Journal staff writer

The Holt School Board gave informal approval to a plan by the district that would delay major changes to Holt High School and the Holt elementary schools until the 2014-15 school year.

The plan would turn the ninth-grade campus at Holt High School into a twelfth-grade campus to create an environment like that of a college, board member Lori Zajac said.

The plan would also close Midway Elementary School, turning it into a center for early childhood development, with students transferring to the closest elementary school. Zajac said the change would consolidate the early childhood system and make things easier for everyone. The plan would also move Sycamore Elementary School to a “balanced,” full-year schedule, Director of Curriculum Dean Manikas said.

The changes had been proposed to take effect in time for the 2013-14 school year, but officials thought the changes would be too drastic to implement so quickly, Manikas said.

Manikas said it was “never an option” to close down Midway completely, and Zajac said there will be no firings, layoffs or displacement as part of the plan.

The only part of the plan that will go into effect for the 2013-14 school year is the implementation of college-level courses for qualifying high school seniors.

The new classes will be offered in the current building, although Zajac said the details are still being worked out.

The district will continue to refine its plan and clarify details over the next two months. The board will vote formally on the plan in June before it can go into effect.

Board President John Malatinsky said the changes are necessary to balance the district’s budget and move forward.

“We can either manage change or let it manage us,” Malatinsky said. “We can’t do nothing.”

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