On Tuesday evening at the , the unanimously approved the 2012-2013 school calendar with several modifications.
Opening the proposed calendar up for discussion, Chairman Debbie Leidlein recommended a few early dismissal days be moved and one eliminated so the students would have a more consistent flow of instructional time.
Because November has a development day on Election Day, Leidlein proposed eliminating the Nov. 2 early release day, which is part of the monthly early release days intended to provide professional development for the staff.
Superintendent Janet Robinson said that although she didn't like losing any staff development time, "I can understand what you're saying because November is a choppy month."
Leidlein also suggested moving January, February and April early release days to coincide with already scheduled long weekend and breaks. The board voted unanimously to accept these changes.
Superintendent Robinson also noted that she had received many complaints about moving the proposed April vacation week. Having that break from April 8-12 would conflict with the regional calendar, which has scheduled vacation from April 15-19, she said. Many teachers in our district don't live in Newtown, continued Robinson, so they would have break while their children were in school, then have to work while their children were off.
The proposed April 8-12 vacation was scheduled a week earlier than normal in hopes that more voters would turn out for the town referendum, which would fall on April 23, 2013, two days after the schools' traditional vacation ends, said board member Bill Hart.
The board voted unanimously to move the dates back in line with the regional calendar, so the approved spring break is April 15-19, 2013.
Another change was the projected last day of school, which was June 11 on the proposed calendar. The board voted to add five emergency closing days into the calendar, with the knowledge that these days may be removed if not used. So the projected last day of school would be June 18, 2013.
If the school year sees more than five emergency closing days, the dates added to the calendar will be June 19, June 20, June 21 and then start into April vacation. There will be no added dates past June 21, 2013, the board said.
The specific wording for the new end of school projection will be voted on in the next meeting, but the board voted to approve the dates.
- Nov. 2: Eliminate as early dismissal. Changed to full day of instruction.
- Jan. 4: Early dismissal day moved to Jan. 18 (coincides with long MLK weekend).
- Feb. 1: Early dismissal day moved to Feb. 15 (coincides with long winter weekend).
- April 5: Early dismissal day moved to April 12 (coincides with new schedule for April break, which is now April 15-19).
- Projected last day of school: June 18, which includes five built-in emergency closure days.
Editor's Note: Other issues at the BOE meeting, including the future recommended school closure and coach training, will be included in a later article.