Two running for Clear Creek school board seat

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The two candidates for the Clear Creek School District D seat support the district’s $33 million bond request and believe the four-day school week the district is implementing next year is a good idea as long as alternatives can be found for the fifth day.

However, they don’t see eye-to-eye on students wearing masks in schools.

Both incumbent Erica Haag and challenger Yvette Putt are running for the school board seat representing the southeast portion of the district including King-Murphy Elementary School. While school board members represent a specific area, everyone in the district votes for the seat. The election is Nov. 2.

School district bond

Regarding the $33 million bond ask that will be on the Nov. 2 ballot, Haag and Putt agreed that voters should embrace the district’s request because children deserve good schools.

“Schools are our future,” said Putt, who has been a real estate agent in the area for 23 years. “It’s our community. It’s our children.”

Haag, a nutritional therapist with a daughter at King-Murphy who uses special-education services, said it made economic sense to put money into buildings now because it will only cost more to make repairs and changes in the future.

The bond, if approved by voters, would pay for creating a state-of-the-art elementary school in the former middle school and provide upgrades and repairs at the district’s three other school buildings.

Four-day school week

Both Haag and Putt agreed that a four-day school week that the school board plans to implement in fall 2022 made sense, though they wanted to make sure families who needed fifth-day options had them.

Haag added it was important the school district makes sure it has solid fifth-day options at little to no cost for those families with working parents.

“We need to make sure everybody is taken care of in that area,” Haag said.

Putt, who has been a teacher, said giving children three-day weekends is beneficial.

“Children learn a lot by playing outside, riding a bike and being with friends outside of a structured environment,” she said.

Masks for students

Putt said masks were unnecessary for students, noting that they were an impediment to learning.

“I think (masks) make it difficult for kids to learn because they can’t see people’s mouths and expressions,” said Putt, who has two grown sons who went through Clear Creek schools.

Haag said she sees both sides to the masking-students issue, pointing out that she hopes they won’t be necessary soon. Haag said while she believes the district must follow the county’s public health orders, in the end, “it’s about taking care of the community.

“It is important to protect our community members,” Haag said, “but I see where people see it as a violation of their rights. I will do whatever I can on my side to make sure things get back to normal as soon as possible when it’s safe to do so.”

Why they are running

Haag said she was running for the board because she brings another perspective — being a parent of a child with learning challenges — to the table.

“It’s not just about me,” she said. “It’s about all of the families out there who struggle through the education system.”

She was appointed to the board in January to replace Letha Miller, who moved out of the country.

Haag noted that the board should continue to be good stewards of the district’s money, and it needed to provide a lot of communication to families about changes to education that the district is working toward such as experiential learning.

Putt said she’s running to give back to the community where she’s lived for 37 years and to focus on her passion for education, especially experiential learning.

“I’ve always been really impressed with Clear Creek schools,” she noted, adding that schools are a large part of both families and the community.

All of the stakeholders should be working in concert to give children the best education possible, she said, noting that she’s a good listener, an important attribute for public officials.

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