When approving the early release date for seniors in 2015 the entire school calendar came under discussion at the Clintonville School Board meeting, Monday, Sept. 22.
The school board unanimously approved that the graduating class of 2015 be released on Friday, June 5, 2015. Board member Tom Neely was absent from the meeting.
During discussion, board member Pat Schley said the school calendar needs to be revisited.
After the vote, District Administrator Tom O’Toole said he has started the process of assembling the 2015-16 school calendar, and he encouraged input from those with suggestions.
“We have been scheduling 180 school days,” O’Toole said.
He added that the law now states that a school year is based on hours, not days.
“I would just as soon have our students receive 180 [days] of reading instruction, 180 [days] of math,” O’Toole said.
He told the board the calendar can be adjusted to a variety of different day combinations. He said he already had two drafts with 180 days.
Schley asked if it was possible to get 180 days in between Labor Day and Memorial Day.
“Not really. It’s pretty tight,” O’Toole said.
He said it can be done if not as many breaks are used during the school year. He added that a longer summer leads to students not retaining as much information from the previous school year.
At this point of the discussion year-round school was brought up.
Clintonville High School Principal Lance Bagstad said Hamilton Elementary School in La Crosse has gone to a year-round school model.
“They’re going into their third year of it. In their testing from spring to fall this last year, they had zero students regress in reading scores because of the shortened amount of time in summer. They’ve literally in three years taken about a 50 percent slide to a zero,” Bagstad said.
He said Hamilton Elementary does take breaks throughout the year, but not the amount of time a summer comprises. Their school year is completed near the end of May, but it starts in the middle of July.
“They’re excited about the results,” Bagstad said.
He added that Hamilton Elementary has a high minority and poverty population.
“Personally, I think a year-round model is the way to go,” Bagstad said. “We’re operating on a model where the expectations are that kids continue to grow academically but yet we build a calendar where we give them three months away from the educational process.”
The first month of the school year is spent trying to get everyone caught up to where they left off the previous school year, Bagstad said.
The board unanimously approved the first reading of revisions to Rule 5141.52 – Communicable Disease Control – Pediculosis (Head Lice).
The board was informed that the Department of Instruction recommends not sending students home if they are found with head lice. The students should remain in school for the remainder of the day. This helps decrease the social stigma associated with head lice.
If a student is found with head lice, it is recommended they stay in school for the rest of the day, their parents are contacted, and a letter and information is sent home to the parents. When it comes time for the student to return to school they will be checked for head lice. If a live bug is found at that point, then the student would be sent home.
• The board unanimously approved the resignation of custodian Robert Thiel for the purpose of retirement, effective Oct. 8.
• The board unanimously approved the transfer of Duke Malueg from a Custodian II position to a Custodian I position, effective Oct. 9.
• The board unanimously approved the hire of Dawn Klein to Para II – Elementary/Middle School IMC Aide (19 hours per week) and Para I – Bus Aide (10 hours per week). It also approved the hiring of Tim Cornell to a Custodian II position at the high school
• The board unanimously approved the voluntary reduction in hours from 24 hours per week to 20 hours per week for Lori Poppe – Para I DELC, effective immediately.
• The board unanimously approved an addendum to the CESA 8 Services Contract for Student Needs Professional Development (SNPD) at a cost of $750.
• The board unanimously approved a fully sponsored student trip to the Trees for Tomorrow Environmental School in Eagle River from Nov. 5-8.
• The board unanimously approved the following expenditures to be taken from Fund Balance: The cost of Multimedia, Communications & Engineering, Inc. for phone system consultation ($7,960); the cost for district computer memory upgraded (corrected amount of $9,996); and the additional cost for middle school roofing ($6,715) from the summer of 2014.