School Board selects calendar for 2006-07
After some discussion Monday night, the Bemidji School Board selected a calendar for the 2006-07 school year. The board voted 5-1 to accept the recommendation by Superintendent Jim Hess to adopt Calendar A over Calendar B. Board member Mona Carte...
After some discussion Monday night, the Bemidji School Board selected a calendar for the 2006-07 school year.
The board voted 5-1 to accept the recommendation by Superintendent Jim Hess to adopt Calendar A over Calendar B. Board member Mona Carter voted against Calendar A.
The 2006-07 school year will start with staff redevelopment days from Aug. 29-30 and a student orientation day Aug. 31. Sept. 1, the Friday before Labor Day, and Sept. 4, the day of the holiday, will be vacation days.
Parent-teacher conferences will be held Oct. 12-13 and March 8-9 and spring break will be held March 12-16.
The last day of school for students will be June 7 - two days later than Calendar B.
While Calendar A - the approved calendar - allows for a weeklong spring break in March with a shorter Easter break, Calendar B proposed a shorter spring break in March and a longer break for Easter.
Both calendar options considered by the board Monday night allowed for a day off for Mark Luther King Jr. Day.
On the school district's Web site, the public cast thousands of votes for calendar preferences.
Members of the Bemidji Education Association - the teacher's union - also voted on the two calendars.
Hess said Calendar A received the strongest support in both the public and teacher polls. But, he said, he received both positive and negative comments on the two calendar options.
Hess noted that one single parent had expressed her concern with Calendar A because she would have to find day care for the weeklong spring break.
Meanwhile, he said, some teachers expressed their desire that fall parent-teacher conferences occur in October -like in Calendar A - rather than November - like in Calendar B - because they could address issues with students earlier.
Carter said she preferred Calendar B because it spread the vacation days more throughout the school year. She said interspersing vacation days will help keep students more focused on their school work.
"Let's keep the learning going," Carter said.
Elizabeth Baird, a student representative on the board, noted that since Bemidji High School's graduation is usually held the Saturday before Memorial Day, it will be held eight school days before the last day of school for all other students under Calendar A.
Board member Ann Long Voelkner said that is partly due to the state Legislature's decision to require Minnesota schools to start after Labor Day.
Hess said another factor is that the school district's teacher contract calls for 172 days of student instruction.
Baird also said she favors Calendar A's last school day because it falls on a Thursday, giving the students a four-day week. In Calendar B, the last day of school fell on a Tuesday.
"I think it would be much better to end on a Thursday," said Baird, noting that students would have more motivation to finish the school year strong.
Also on Monday night, the board voted 5-1 to approve a resolution giving the board's two student representatives non-binding student voting privileges through July. Carter voted against the resolution.
The approval of the resolution allows the student representatives to officially voice their input by voting on board agenda items - excluding personnel items - without having their votes tabulated with the other board members' votes. Hess said the privileges will be implemented as a pilot project.