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Noblesville School Board discusses more balanced calendar

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Love it or hate it, Noblesville Schools will most likely have a balanced calendar for at least one more year following a brief discussion at the Oct. 7 school board work session.

Stephanoff

Stephanoff

Assistant Supt. Dr. Steve Stephanoff, who heads the calendar committee comprised of parents, teachers and school administrators, said the district committed to trying the new format for two years. While 2014-15 marks the second year, Stephanoff said the committee would like more time to determine the affects of the shortened summer schedule which include behavior referrals and attendance.

“We have concern we didn’t have two full years of data,” said Stephanoff. “Last year, the high school had the highest attendance its ever had.”

The first parent and teacher survey was done after the end of the first nine weeks last year.

“After two or three month results were very positive,” Stephanoff said. “Last year in winter wasn’t a good time to do a survey.”

Stephanoff said another survey will be conducted after spring break.

Stephanoff said the district received “justified criticism” from a survey done earlier this year regarding how to make-up missed school. While the public and teachers overwhelming supported longer days with less amount of weeks the decision was made to extended school days by 17 minutes for two and a half months. As a result, flex days were added this school year in case of inclement weather.

So there is less confusion and to be fair and unbiased, school board members have asked for a new survey provider.

“It’s not a vote but a chance to give opinion – a way to provide input. We need to be clear on that this time,” school board member Donna Clark said.

The district also is looking at ways to lower its expense when conducting large surveys.

“We’re exploring several options to keep costs preferably at $0,” Supt. Dr. Beth Niedermeyer said, adding a new system is one way to build trust with the public.

Stephanoff said a decision on the calendar also would assist in planning.

“People want to know the calendar next year,” he said. “The idea came to develop a calendar for next year and continue with the balanced calendar.”

The school board did not approve the move at the work session. It will have regular meeting at 7 p.m. Oct. 28.


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