Mantua – The next meeting of the Crestwood School Board will be held on Tuesday, January 12th in the High School library. This meeting will begin at 6:30 pm. The dates of the 2016-2017 school calendar will be decided at this meeting, and the community is encouraged to attend. The proposed dates, provided at December’s Board meeting, are as follows: Teachers would be scheduled to return to school on Friday, August 12, 2016. It is proposed that students would return to school on Tuesday, August 16, 2016.
It was noted that the Portage County Fair will take place from August 23 – 28, and the proposed calendar suggests a professional development day on August 26, 2016, where teachers would attend school, but students would not. The final day of the school year for students is proposed on May 25, 2017. As occurred in August of 2015, students participating in the Portage County Fair would be given excused absences for days missed provided they submit proper documentation.
One of the goals of beginning the school year earlier is to end the first semester prior to Winter Break. In addition, the early end to the school year would limit down time after mandatory assessments in May. Superintendent David Toth shared that given the new testing dates, “It is advantageous to give students more instruction prior to testing.” He went on to explain that the Board compared the number of student absences during the Fair week in 2015 to the number of absences during a similar length of time in October and November, finding the number of student absences to be similar in number.
Several parents in attendance at December’s Board meeting voiced their concerns with the earlier start to the school year. One parent remarked that by comparing student absences during the cold and flu season of October through November does not provide an accurate comparison to days missed in August. One parent commented that as Crestwood Schools have the third largest amount of 4H participants in the county; as such, she felt it was disrespectful of the Board to fail to consider a schedule that would accommodate those families. Another parent spoke, noting a wish that the calendar would be more consolidated, with professional development dates used more judiciously, so that the flow of learning wouldn’t be hindered by so many three- and four-day weeks.
The issue will be determined on Tuesday, January 12th.