The Noblesville Board of School Trustees has approved a plan that will allow two days of school to be made up by extending the school day.
The board voted on March 6 to extend the elementary day by 14 minutes and the secondary day by 17 minutes beginning March 17, and continuing through the end of the year. However, before the new daily schedule can be put into place, a Memorandum of Understanding must be approved by the Noblesville Teachers Forum and the make-up plan must be approved by the state Department of Education.
If both are approved on or before March 14, the calendar will be adjusted and the school year will end on June 4 for grades K-8 and on May 30 for grades 9-12. If either approval is not obtained by March 14, the school year will end on June 6 or grades K-8.
Although an earlier start date to extended days had been discussed, the March 17 date is after the completion of ISTEP+ testing. The Flex Days scheduled for June 2 through 4 will be used for grades K-8 to make up the additional three days that are required. The high school year will end earlier because of the school’s participation in eLearning activities.
The board’s action is based on results from a survey that asked parents and staff to rank three options in their order of preference:
● Option 1: Follow the school year calendar as is, utilize the five Flex Days June 2 through 6, and end school June 6.
● Option 2: Make up two days by extending the school day by 15 to 20 minutes and end school June 4.
● Option 3: Make up five days by extending the school day by approximately 40 minutes and end school May 30.
Supt. Dr. Libbie Conner presented both raw data and a statistical analysis of the data from the survey to the board, which showed that more than half of the respondents said adding approximately 40 minutes to the school day would be their first choice. Nearly 90 percent of the respondents listed adding 15 to 20 minutes as their first or second choice; about 66 percent listed adding approximately 40 minutes as their first or second choice.
Board vice president Donna Clark said that she would be in favor of leaving the calendar the way it is, but construction at the main campus and freshman campus of the high school created a unique situation this year. Allowing the high school to vacate both buildings as quickly as possible is critical to ensuring completion of the construction projects in time for school to start on Aug. 4.
“I don’t think this (changing the calendar) is something we take lightly. The calendar committee works hard and sets the calendar well in advance. Those flex days (at the end of the year) are built in there for a reason,” she said.
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