The Red Oak Independent School District board of trustees approved the 2007-2008 school calendar at Monday’s meeting.

The calendar has a Monday, Aug. 27 start date for students, with the first semester ending Friday, Jan. 18. The second semester will begin Wednesday, Jan. 23, and end Thursday, June 5.

The calendar marks Labor Day, Martin Luther King Day and Memorial Day as holidays, Thanksgiving holiday as Nov. 19-23 and Christmas break from Dec. 24-Jan. 4. Spring break is scheduled for March 17-21.

New teacher in-service begins Tuesday, Aug. 14, and district wide in-service begins Monday, Aug. 20.

Staff development days are scheduled Oct. 1, Monday, Nov. 19 and 20 and a workday is set for Jan. 22.

The calendar was developed through various site-based committees meetings with the administration, as well as through communication with the principals of each campus.

Associate superintendent of operations Russell Schupmann said that with the state mandated starting date late in August, “it is very difficult, if not impossible to complete the first semester before the Christmas holiday.”

Two calendars were posted on the district Web site and staff and members of the community were given the opportunity to vote on the calendars.

The calendar was posted from Dec. 20 through the week of Jan. 15-19, and 40 people responded to the online poll.

Of those who voted, 80 percent choose the calendar approved by the trustees.

About 20 percent of the voters were members of the community and 80 percent were staff.

“I would’ve like to have seen more than 40 people respond,” trustee Dr. Mark Stanfill said.

Trustee Henry Lozano asked how the online poll was advertised, with Schupmann saying the poll was advertised on the marquees at Red Oak Junior High and Red Oak High School.

Principals at the meeting said the announcement was printed in campus newsletters and trustee Lynne Grandstaff said the announcement was on the home page of every campus Web site.

“We did more this year than we ever have done,” Schupmann said of advertising the calendar to the public and staff.

Schupmann also said that prior to posting the calendars on the Web site, staff had various opportunities to voice their input to campus administration.

In other business, the board of trustees:

Discussed the Red Oak ISD Growth Management Committee proposal of a $95 million bond, which would construct a new Red Oak High School, a new Shields Elementary and complete various maintenance jobs across the district.

“The board and administration are still evaluating that,” said board president John Hawkins. “We are not prepared to move on their proposal. We are working to get community input on the proposal at the time.”

Approved the addition of a sports and entertainment marketing innovative course at Red Oak High School beginning the 2007-2008 school year.

Red Oak High School Principal Bobby Stults explained that the addition of the course is a result of increased interest in the marketing principles course correlating with an increased emphasis on sports management.

Stults said that with the addition of the sports and entertainment marketing course, he believes the marketing principles course will no longer have a big enough demand to offer both courses.

“Both offer the same marketing principles, sports management just narrows the focus,” Stults said.

“I applaud you for putting this together,” trustee Barb Vogler said. “I teach at a university where sports management courses are in high demand.”

Discussed the progress of the superintendent search. Hawkins said the district has received four full applications, two partial applications and has heard vocal interest from six people.

The position is posted on the district Web site, as well as other Web sites, and the district mailed flyers to all 3A, 4A and 5A districts in Texas.

The application on the district Web site has also been updated so applicants can fill out the form online and e-mail a completed form to the district.

Discussed and approved the district special education audit and action plan with Dr. Joy Shaw. Discussed the district budget action plan. Business manager Bobby Laborde presented a plan to the board noting where the district could save money during the year that could be added to the fund balance.

Laborde, Schupmann and interim Superintendent Wilburn Roesler developed the plan.

“We’re about 60 percent into the school year and we’ve only spent about 38 percent of our budget this year,” Roesler said.