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School board adopts calendar

This year’s scheduling dilemmas considered in planning process.

The four-day school week will continue—for the most part—for Brady Public School students through the 2010-11 school year.

School board members adopted the calendar for next year during their regular monthly meeting Monday night.

The district first implemented the four-day week in January 2005 as a cost-saving measure. The board has voted to continue the shortened work week ever since.

The 2010-11 school year is scheduled to begin with classes on Wednesday, Aug. 18, and dismiss on Thursday, May 19, 2011, with students in class four days a week the majority of the year.

There are 10 five-day weeks scheduled with 29 weeks when students will attend school four or fewer days.

Brady superintendent Bill Porter told the board the state requires at least 9,000 instructional minutes.

He said high school students must be in classes 1,080 hours and the elementary requirement is 1,032 hours.

The 2010-11 calendar meets that requirement with a couple of extra days built in.

Porter finds it necessary to plan ahead for snow days and other unexpected early-outs. It’s a lesson the district has learned the hard way, he said.

The school dismissed all classes four times this year for two snow days, a funeral and the girls state basketball tournament.

Because there was no extra instructional time built into the calendar, the district must make up for lost time.

Porter said he sees no other option than to require students to attend school on previously scheduled Fridays off for the remainder of this school year.

The difficulty, Porter said, is that state officials now consider instructional time in the formula to determine state aid dollars.

“If students are in school only the bare minimum of time, our state aid is going to suffer and we can’t afford that,” he said.

The calendar allows for 76 school days in the first semester and 84 days in the second.

The school board also accepted with regret the resignation of activities director Darren Tobey, who has taken a position with Southern Valley schools at Oxford.

In other business:

  • approved a work agreement for new maintenance supervisor Robert Aguilar at a salary of $12 per hour.
  • discussed on first reading board policies outlining acceptable computer use, student computer loans, teacher computer loans and graduation requirements but did not approve the policies. Board members felt too many corrections were necessary and will consider the policies again at the May meeting.
  • approved a contract with Bruce Hird who was hired as K-12 principal at a salary of $57,000.
  • authorized purchase and installation of a sump pump as well as a heat trace on the water tower feed line for heating and air conditioning. Cost of the pump is $2,185 and will be paid from the depreciation fund. The heat trace will cost $2,050 and will be paid from contract services. Both will be installed by Snell Services.
  • voted to allow Porter to advertise for summer help with the stipulation that the person hired will work no more than 256 total hours.
  • rejected two bids on a proposed remodeling of the board room. Porter said it will be necessary to add an office to the current board room space to accommodate business manager Ashley Lydic. Lydic’s current office will become the principal’s office and the room upstairs now used by the principal will become space for necessary Educational Service Unit services. The proposals were rejected because bid specifications did not match each other and the board requested additional information.
  • learned Porter has already begun the budget process for the 2010-11 school year. More government funds are likely to be offset by a 9% increase in health insurance costs.
  • received information about a surplus property auction to be conducted during Brady Days on Aug. 7.
  • approved a one-month contract for $2,250 to lease a bus for activity use. The 2006 Bluebird bus previously used hit a deer on the way to a track meet in Arnold last week and will be out of commission for a few weeks. Porter told the board none of the route busses can handle the mileage for activities.

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