Classes in June? School board says no

By Per Peterson

Try as he might, not even Old Man Winter can get kids to go to school in June.

The District No. 2904 School Board was presented three options at Monday’s meeting to deal with three additional instructional days lost to inclement weather. Board members were not fans of the option of having students in class on June 3-6, or adding one-half hour to each school day starting Monday and ultimately voted to have just teachers make up lost time — per their contracted agreement — meaning the last day of school will remain May 31.

Teachers only would add 30 minutes to each day for 29 days or weekends or greater increments to equal two days. Workshop days would be June 3-4, and June 5 would be the normal teacher check-out day.

“It forgives the four contact days for the students, so they would not come back after May 31st,” Supt. Chad Anderson said. “All the teacher workdays would be completed, all teacher contract time would be made up. Teachers would need to log their time and turn it into their building principals on Wednesday, June 5.”

Board member Sheila Siebenahler-Holland asked how the principals feel about keeping track of teachers’ time. Anderson responded by saying the district’s teachers are professionals and wouldn’t take advantage of the new, temporary system. Neither principals — Kathy Vondracek at the high school and Michael Munson at the elementary school voiced any concerns about the plan.

“I’m not worried about them putting in the time,” Munson said. “I know they will, and track their time.”

Board chair Rod Benson wondered how productive students are in June.

“Are they learning anything anymore?” he asked. “That’s my concern. I don’t want to deprive the students of learning, but at the same time if that time is going to be nothing but wasted … I don’t know how to balance that.”

One of the teachers in attendance at Monday’s meeting said a lot of the students have “checked out” by that time. Another said it’s very difficult to keep students on task so late into the year.

See this week’s Headlight Herald for more on this article.