September 2, 2014

Medina
Cloudy
74°F

Medina school board considers calendar changes

MEDINA — Board of education members heard proposed changes to the school calendar for the next three years during a work session Monday.

“We have just four weeks before the start of school. For staff member to adequately plan, there are some changes that they would to know about,” Superintendent Dave Knight said.

The board earlier agreed to end the tradition of having a two-day break in classes in November for parent-teacher conferences. Instead students will be off only one day — Monday, Nov. 3 — and most of the conferences will be conducted in the evening.

To make up for the lost day off, school will close Wednesday before Thanksgiving, Nov. 27 this year.

Board President Tom Cahalan was skeptical about taking Nov. 26 off.

“I wonder if we are going to have attendance issues because that week looks short,” he said.

Kristine Quallich said the change was made to accommodate more parent-teacher conferences in the evenings.

The school board still needs to vote and approve dates for two waiver days during the school year. The district then will submit the days to the Ohio Department of Education for approval. The district uses those days as staff training and assessment days.
The board also needs to approve make-up days and days they could use blizzard bags.

The district can have up to five days off during the school year without having to make up days.

During last year’s unusually harsh winter, the district used nine calamity days and had to make up four school days.

Three of the days used blizzard bags. The fourth day, May 30, was added at the end of the school year.

Cahalan said the events of last year will not likely happen this year, while board member Doug Adamczyk called the snow days last year a “fluke.”

A blizzard bag is a packet of work that students would have to complete at home during additional snow days.

Board member Robert Skidmore said blizzard bags have gotten mixed reviews.

“It was a ton of busy work for the students,” he said.

Skidmore said elementary school students had a positive response to blizzard bag days while teachers at the high school found they were not as effective with their students.

Contact reporter Andrew Davis at (330) 721-4050 or adavis@medina-gazette.com.