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Agostine Presents 2013-14 School Calendar Proposal

Several Board of Education members believe school should be in session on Veterans and Columbus days.

Supt. of Schools James Agostine presented a proposal for the 2013-14 school calendar to the Board of Education Tuesday night and, other than some saying they believe school should be in session on Columbus and Veterans days, board members seemed to like what they saw.

The 182-day school year would start on Aug. 27 and end on June 11. The vacation schedule only has a full week off at a time in December and April.

"It's a very clean calendar with very little interruption," Agostine said of the continued learning that would take place throughout the year.

Board of Education Vice Chairwoman Donna Lane said it was a much cleaner calendar, adding past calendars were "choppy" with too many days off together. "It was hard to get into a flow," Lane said of instruction.

But Lane also expressed her belief that Monroe should hold classes on Columbus and Veterans days like other school districts in the area, because it would leave more wiggle room when days are lost due to snowstorms.

Agostine said, "These two days are contractual holidays for several of our unions, so having school on those days, it would be expensive to open."

Agostine said school was in session on Veterans Day last year because of extenuating circumstances. He also said the district could pursue having school on Veterans and Columbus days during the next rounds of union negotiations.

Board secretary, Mark Hughes, agreed with Lane that school should be in session on those two holidays.

What Days Would be Off?

In Agostine's proposal, holidays include Labor Day (Sept. 2), Rosh Hashanah (Sept. 5), Columbus Day (Oct. 14), Veterans Day (Nov. 11), New Year's Day (Jan. 1), Martin Luther King Day (Jan. 20) and Memorial Day (May 26).

Vacations include: Thanksgiving Recess (Half day on Nov. 27 and days off on the 28th and 29th), Winter Recess (Dec. 23-31), February Vacation (a long weekend with Monday, Feb. 17, and Tuesday, Feb. 18, off) and Spring Recess (April 14-18).

Students would also be off on teacher training days on Election Day, Nov. 5, and April 21, which extends the Spring Recess. The teachers' year would be 187 days with other training days on Aug. 22, 23 and 26.

Agostine said the reason for having a teacher training day on Election Day is to avoid going too far into the winter season and risk losing the day to snow.

Board member Kelly Plunkett thanked the committee for putting together "a great calendar." Plunkett liked giving teachers a professional day on April 21, providing an extra day to the April break.

Big Boy January 25, 2013 at 01:47 PM
The half day before Thanksgiving is a tremendous waste. Either have it a full day or a no school day.
Walt January 25, 2013 at 01:50 PM
It counts as a full day, as do all the half days.
Barbara116 January 25, 2013 at 01:53 PM
Year round school is so much better for the kids. Learning isn't lost over a long summer break.
Dee January 25, 2013 at 02:02 PM
No reason to be off Columbus day & Veterans Day. Half day before Thanksgiving is a waste - all my kids ever do that day is watch movies and have parties. I don't even send them any longer
christine January 25, 2013 at 05:37 PM
Columbus day shouldn't even be a holiday in the first place, now that we know Columbus was a slave trader, plus he wasn't even the the first to discover America. Many school districts throughout the country do not observe the holiday, there is really no reason we should, either.
Vera Karger January 25, 2013 at 10:31 PM
Perhaps we could schedule a basic course in Logic on Columbus Day, open to children & parents alike.
Rapture January 26, 2013 at 12:22 AM
As stated above Columbus Day and other National holidays are paid holidays for employees of the school. In order to have school opened the board would have to pay the staff for the day and grant them another holiday or "floating day" elsewhere. It ends up costing more in the long run, and those few holidays are no worse than the amount of Jewish holidays off from school; given to all families with or without that religious background.
Patty January 26, 2013 at 01:28 AM
I agree. School should be in session on those 2 holidays including Presidents' Day too. My opinion
Dee January 26, 2013 at 01:57 AM
Those "Jewish Holidays" are very important to Jewish people, as important as Christmas is to Christians. So you are saying that school should be open on Christmas too? Christmas is one day and kids are off a full week.
Sam January 30, 2013 at 06:48 PM
When teachers contracts are being negotiated again, Columbus Day and Veterans Day should most certainly be added back in as school days. In addition, I would suggest that rather than counting days in school as the indicator of meeting state mandates, the number of hours in school should be the driving factor. The district is already way too fast to go with a half day, late start, or early dismissal as it is, because there are no repercussions; it counts as a whole day. This whole 4 hr early dismissal option has already been terribly abused..
captrips January 30, 2013 at 07:00 PM
All good points but none of it will ever happen. Here's why and it's one word. U N I O N!
miles February 01, 2013 at 10:17 PM
On the heels of Sandy Hook we are already back to attacking the teachers....and the union....wow
miles February 01, 2013 at 10:27 PM
The teachers saved many lives, the teachers have the right to a union, and to some respect. They spent countless hours of their free time setting up Sandy Hook for the new school to open...when it doubt blame the teachers....is getting kind of old...
miles February 01, 2013 at 10:30 PM
Year round school....there is no air conditioning and the classrooms are nearly 98 degrees some days....and I'm sure nobody would want to pay for air conditioning in the elementary schools....

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