Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Dorchester District Two does not plan to add days onto its current school year; instead, two half-day schedules and an upcoming Teacher Work Day have been refitted to accommodate two full make-up days of school.
At the Monday night School Board of Trustees meeting board members discussed what to do about the cancelled school days left in the wake of the two recent winter storms.
Superintendent Joseph Pye devised a plan to give back some of those days.
Students lost five days of class time because of the storms. At Monday night’s meeting, Pye expressed concerns over adding all of those missing days to the end of the school year, when schools will be wrapping up their final examinations and standardized tests.
“Our make-up days are the last days of the year – first few days of June,” he said. “School is basically over, kids probably won’t even come.”
March 14 is the next scheduled Teacher Work Day. There are half-days scheduled for March 5 and April 30.
In order to add more instructional days for teachers to prepare their students for the end-of-the-year exams, March 14 will now be a full day of classes and the two half days will be stretched to full days, giving the district two full instructional days back.
These changes apply to all grade levels.
“We worry about children’s safety, number one, and instruction is number two,” Pye said.
Board member Sam Clark said he felt like parents appeared to be grateful for the district’s decision to cancel classes during the ice storms.
“Board members hear complaints about this or that or whatever,” he said. “We didn’t get one single complaint about this.”
During the meeting council members also approved the 2014-2015 school calendar.
Monday night’s honorary board member was Caryn Ramelb, a senior from Ashley Ridge High School, which was featured school for the meeting.
During closing comments board director Gail Hughes asked Ramelb what she learned from being an honorary board member.
Ramelb praised the board on making quick and precise decisions, and that it was interesting to observe the decision-making process for the school district.
“The first thing I’m going to tell everyone at school is that our half-days are gone,” she said.