NEW ULM - The District 88 School Board on Thursday voted March 31 a snow make-up day, changing from a staff development day to a student contact day.
The district has lost approximately six days of instructional time due to inclement weather as of Feb. 27, explained Superintendent Jeff Bertrang. The time missed includes four full school days. Overall, with missed days, late starts and early dismissals, students have missed just under 40 instructional hours so far (with slight variation in instructional time by grade).
The teacher contract includes provisions for three weather-related days not to be made up, Bertrang said. By changing March 31 to a student contact day and adding a staff day June 6, the district will make up the fourth full missed day.
Past practice has been not to make up late starts or early dismissals. That reasoning would apply if the missed hours were not too many, noted Bertrang.
The district is also planning on May 9 as a make-up day for students with any additional late starts or early outs. Too much curriculum has been missed, said Bertrang.
Additionally, the district is planning on adding June 4 as a student day and moving a staff development day to June 9, if there are additional no-school days.
The state requires the following minimums: 850 instructional hours per year for all-day kindergarten, 935 instructional hours per year in grades one to six, and 1,020 instructional hours per year in grades 7-12, said Bertrang. There is no specific maximum. Even with the missed time, New Ulm is now approximately 188 hours above the state minimum for kindergarten, about 116 hours above for grades one to six, and about 46 hours above the minimum for grades 7-12, he added.
The School Board also amended next year's school calendar to streamline it. It added a staff day in the fall for professional development work; moved some professional development days to Mondays; removed two professional development dates (one in each of January and March) to make them student contact days; added Graduation Day as May 29; and moved the date school ends from June 5 to June 3.
The changes still meet pre-set parameters for 185 staff work days and 170 student contact days.
The board approved the following summer projects: a $ 250,000 roof replacement at Jefferson Elementary School (to be paid for with deferred maintenance funds); restroom upgrades at the High School ($25,000 in capital funds); and sidewalk repairs at Washington Elementary School and the main campus to remove trip hazards (a total of $19,400 in capital funds).
The board approved three main goals for 2014-16, after developing and refining them since fall. The goals are defined as follows: "update our facilities to meet current and future program needs; develop innovative academic programs; and provide a systematic Intervention program."