The Holland School Board has reinstated the girls varsity swim program for next year after pleas from the community and swimmers forced it to rethink the budget-cutting move.
“We certainly heard you and how you felt,” interim Superintendent Sylvia Root said Monday.
The announcement, made at last Monday’s board meeting, was met with cheers from the audience. Several swimmers spoke during the public comment portion of the meeting to thank the board for rescinding the earlier decision.
But Nicole Schwab, 18, captain of the varsity swim team and lifeguard at the community pool that the school shares with residents, had concerns about the future of the entire swim program in Holland, especially following the recent layoff of athletic director and pool director Matthew Adams.
“Who’s going to run our pool? Who’s going to keep this essential part of our community alive? There’s no schedule for July yet and checks from April are still uncashed,” she said.
The costs for next year’s swim program will be covered through adjustments and savings the district found within the athletic budget, Root said.
In other matters, the board had what has become an annual debate over its universal prekindergarten program. The most contentious point concerns how the $84,000 grant should be divided between the district’s in-school pre-K program and the one it contracts out to Color Your World child care center on Route 16.
Previously, the funds have been allocated in a 50-50 split regardless of attendance. This year, some board members proposed that the allocation be adjusted so that Color Your World is paid on a per-student basis.
But Color Your World owner Sandy Hoffman thought the idea would put her at a disadvantage.
“I need a number. I need to make a contract with my teacher. I can’t change the teacher’s salary because the number of students changes. For 13 years, we’ve split it down the middle,” Hoffman said.
The board has scheduled a special meeting at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday to make another attempt at approving the Color Your World contract.