Eaton calendar committee reveals a larger issue

Eaton calendar committee has always focused on the kids, but the larger issue is teachers pay, or lack thereof, in Colorado

Eaton School District has always prioritized what’s best for students. As the motto goes, “Our business is children.” The Eaton School District calendar committee has created each year a district calendar for each school year. For the calendar committee, this year is the first year the EHS community has been involved with the committee’s meetings. The calendar committee wants to hear the community’s outlet and any suggestions for what the calendar should look like. The calendar panel’s first priority is the kids.

This year, parents wanted to take on a greater role in regard to the calendar. Two parents had attended a district meeting. The parents were permitted three minutes and spoke about wanting a long summer for the students going into the future. Eaton High School’s alternate representative, Catherine Gaber, had declined the option as she felt it was not in the best interest of students.

This was the first year that parents were going to be involved in the calendar committee’s decisions. Gaber had said, “I don’t mind the parents being involved, but they do not know all the information and don’t have a wide perspective on the matter.” Gaber, like the rest of the calendar committee, prioritizes students. She feels as if a longer summer and longer breaks would not be in the best interest of the kids. Gaber said, “Some kids find peace at the school and feel as if school is their home.” 

Fred Kinney has been the calendar committee representative for EHS since 2010 and just like Gaber, he has always put the kids first. Mr. Kinney absolutely loved the idea of getting parents involved in the committee. Kinney said, “I always want the community involved, and getting the parents involved gives us another chance to hear what the community has to say.” The Colorado Department of Education requires that kids have contact hours in school for 160 days and teachers work 180 days. Kinney wants to advocate for students in Colorado as he feels kids are at a disadvantage compared to those in other states. 

Eaton is an academic powerhouse and always has been. The Eaton community being involved in the calendar committee is a great thing for the community and the kids. The question is, who advocates for the teachers in Colorado? Teachers in Colorado are paid 7,000 less than the national average and are contracted to work for 180 minimum days. The solution to this problem for not only Eaton but other Colorado schools, increase teacher pay. Kids will always be advocated for, but when will it be fair for the ones that teach?