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.