Wednesday, April 28, 2010

DRAFT 2010-2011 Calendar

A committee of parents, teachers and classified staff met Monday evening to collaborate on a calendar for next school year. Board policy dictates that the superintendent recommend a calendar to the trustees for approval. It is our practice to include the staff and parents into the process.

The Board requested that the 2010-2011 calendar include the following: longer school day to accommodate the seven-period secondary master schedule necessary due to increase state-mandated graduation requirements,  fewer school days, no early release days, professional days not to be more frequent than every three weeks, and a similar number of instructional hours to our existing calendar.

You can view the calendar I will be recommending to the Board here. This is a compromise between a staff-generated proposal and an administrative proposal.

There were numerous discussions held by the committee including:
  • First day of school. Labor Day is late this year so beginning after Labor Day put the end of school too late. Also parents and elementary teachers felt it was important not to have a full five-day week the first week of school to give young students the chance to acclimate to school.
  • Winter and spring break. These holidays are always an important and lively discussion within the committee, but there was unanimous support this year for a two week winter break and having spring break the final week of March versus the first week of April.
  • The placement of the professional days was considered at length, as was the importance of a two-day time frame for parent/teacher conferences in the fall. 
As you can see on the calendar, the school day next year is proposed to begin at 8:00 AM and end at 3:20 PM. Kindergarten is proposed to run from 8:00 AM until 11:15 AM. This will allow for 55 minute secondary classes, which are currently 60 minutes. It is a longer day for all students, but by shortening the number of school days, the instructional hours remain very close to the current level. Most of the professional days have been moved to Fridays to provide some long weekends for those families desiring such an option while still providing ample time for teacher training and collaboration which is such a vital part of continuous school improvement. Some of those professional days have also been placed on historically low attendance days which also helps in our calculation of average daily attendance which impacts our state funding. Reducing the number of school days also will help the District balance the budget while maintaining the same instructional focus.

The adoption of the calendar will be an agenda item at the May 10 Board meeting. Patrons are welcome to attend the meeting to comment on the proposed calendar.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Supplemental Levy Results

The $700,000 supplemental levy for fiscal year 2011 has passed with a 70% approval. There were a total of 206 ballots cast of which 144 were YES votes and 62 were No votes. I would like to thank the community of Genesee for their support once again of their school system. Given the current economic climate and the reduced state funding, this supplemental levy will go a long way toward maintaining the quality programs residents have come to expect from their school system.