Four days have been added to the 2013-14 Iola-Scandinavia school calendar.
According to the new schedule, Thursday, June 12, will be the last day of school for I-S students.
Making up the four snow days was approved by the I-S School Board at its Feb. 10 meeting.
All of the board members voted in favor of the additional days, except for Mike Koles.
“We are in an extraordinary year this year,” he said.
Koles also expressed concern that more snow tends to fall in February and March.
The I-S School District only needs to make up two of its four “snow days,” according to District Administrator David Dyb.
“The district’s protocol has been to make up all snow days,” Dyb said.
He explained that adding all four days at the end of the year provides a little cushion in case school needs to be canceled for another day or two.
According to the Department of Instruction, schools must schedule 180 days of school and meet a minimum number of hours of instruction.
Dyb noted the DPI “is not going to change days of instruction.”
Other options presented included:
• Cutting into the March 24-28 spring break.
• Adding minutes to each school day.
• Having school on a few Saturdays.
• Canceling the late starts on March 10 and April 7, but that would only add four hours.
High/Middle School Principal Sara Anderson did not approve of adding minutes to every school day.
“We are not going to get added hours in the day,” she said, reminding the board that high school students are often excused early for sporting and extracurricular activities.
Dyb advised against shortening the spring break because he thought families and staff members have already made vacation plans for those days. He said it has been the district’s policy to offer a weeklong spring break every other year.
The board members asked how much time was needed for actual classroom instruction.
“There is never enough time (to educate),” Anderson said. “Then there’s the question of quality of education.”
Adding days at the end of the school year was the best option, according to the majority of the board.
The first draft of the 2014-15 calendar was presented. It included a start date of Tuesday, Sept. 2; Thanksgiving vacation on Nov. 26-28; Christmas vacation from Dec. 24 through Jan. 2; a short spring break (Friday, April 3 and Monday, April 6); with the last day of school on Tuesday, June 2.
There was concern about the students and staff having no breaks from Jan. 23 until April in 2015. Dyb will look into making some adjustments and maybe adding a three-day weekend within that time period.
In other business, the board denied a petition request to alter school district boundaries.
The board acknowledged a $500 donation from the American Legion Sheveland-Taylor Post 14 for the high school band program.