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New School Calendar Should Favor Current One
Updated November 17, 2014 7:25 AM | Filed under: Education
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(BEDFORD) - North Lawrence school board members, reviewed input received in a school calendar survey and determined that whatever calendar format is chosen will be applied to the next two years.

The Times Mail reports that Superintendent Gary Conner reported that 1,439 respondents took the survey. The survey focused on such questions as when respondents would like the school year to begin and end, how many days should be allowed for fall break and whether and how many make-up days should be built into the calendar to allow for school cancellations.

Board member Brad Flinn says residents are mostly satisfied with the present calendar.

Respondents to the survey gave the current format a 67.82 percent approval rate over the 32.18 percent who said they didn't like the current calendar.

While 48 percent of those who took the survey said they would like for school to start no more than two weeks before Labor Day, 70 percent said they liked for their children to have an entire week off for fall break and 73 percent embraced the two-week break at Christmas. But building both of those factors into a calendar challenges the school system to meet the state's required 180-day mandate while also making up days missed because of inclement weather.

Superintendent Gary Conner will be preparing a calendar for board members to vote on in an upcoming meeting.

Larry Arnold, board president, says the new calendar should favor the present format.

Steve Ritter, NLCS maintenance director, said he, in the interest of looking out for student safety, discussed with an engineer about traffic flow problems at Dollens Elementary School and Oolitic Middle School as parents drop off and pick up students.

"There's just too much traffic, too many people for such a small area," board member Gary Holmes said.
Board members instructed Ritter to seek cost estimates from two additional engineers so the board has options to consider.

Winter weather

In other business Thursday, the board heard from Darren Waggoner, NL transportation director, who addressed winter preparedness. "We've been working on snowplows to make sure they're all in order. ... We're prepared for snow."

The school board's next meeting is planned for Thursday. An executive session will begin at 5:30 p.m. followed by an open session at 6 p.m.

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