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Plymouth School Board to Consider Balanced Calendar

November 2, 2014

balanced_calendar vs traditional calendarThe Plymouth School Board will meet for two meetings on Tuesday, November 4. At 6:30 P.M., they will hold a public hearing to accept public testimony concerning the contract for Superintendent Daniel Tyree.
Following the hearing, at approximately 7:00 P.M., the Board will convene in a regular session.
During the meeting, the Board is expected to consider a balanced calendar that would take effect for the 2015-2016 school year if approved.
A balanced calendar is not a year-long-calendar, but does change the schedule for days off from school. In the proposed balanced calendar, students would still attend school for a total of 180 instructional days and the calendar would begin in early August and end in late May.
The calendar would be scheduled as follows:
9 weeks of school
1.5 weeks off
9 weeks of school
Holiday break
9 weeks of school
2 weeks for spring break
Final 9 weeks of school
According to results of a survey taken in the spring of this year, 86 percent of the staff favors a balanced schedule, 3 percent were undecided, and 11 percent indicated they did not like a balanced schedule. Administrators held seven faculty meetings (one at each building in the corporation).
They also held three community meetings to explain the schedule. The schools reported that 75 percent of parents favored the new schedule model. 23 percent did not like it and 2 percent were undecided.
The Board will also consider allowing a three-hour delay that could be used for delaying the beginning of the school day in inclement weather. When presented in an earlier meeting, Superintendent Daniel Tyree indicated that they could avoid needless make-up days, help ensure safer transportation to school, allow highway departments longer times to clear roads, and take advantage of the IDOE’s (Indiana Department of Education) rules concerning bad weather. They also acknowledged that there could be disadvantages including child care, extra-curricular events finishing later, and the need for students with jobs to work out a schedule with employers.
In the event of a three-hour delay, the school hours would be extended by one hour.
During previous discussions on the matter, Tyree siad,”We would use the three-hour delay sparingly.”
The Board will also hear reports on Riverside Intermediate and Lincoln Junior High ISTEP (Indiana State Testing for Educational Progress) results; hear a report on Plymouth High School ECA (End of Course Assessments), graduation rates, and College and Career Readiness; consider proposed course changes; hear a report on enrollments; and consider on 2nd reading of revised policies and guidelines.
The meetings are open to the public. Public comments are taken at the beginning and ending of regular meetings.