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Snow days and approval of the school calendar for the 2019-2020 school year were two items of interest at the regular meeting of the Mount Ayr Community School board of directors Monday, February 18.
Superintendent Joe Drake reported that the district has so far missed six days of school along with six late starts and two early outs due to this year’s relentless winter weather.
He pointed out that the current school calendar had set the last day of school for Wednesday, May 23, with the last day for teachers May 24.
The calendar was approved a year ago with the stipulation that all missed days would be added to the end of the school year.
That means the last day for students would be pushed back to Thursday, May 30, assuming no additional days are missed.
Drake reminded the board that a “school year” for students is now figured by the hour rather than by the day.
The conflict arises, however, in the fact that instructional staff are contracted for 190 days on a “per day” basis rather than “per hour.”
Therefore, regardless of student hours, those six missed days must still be added to the end of the school calendar as full instructional days with students and staff in attendance. Following the instructional days, instructional staff will remain in attendance until their 190-day contracts are fulfilled.
The board discussed options to address the missed days but took no action pending any further weather-related complications between now and their March meeting.
The board approved the school calendar for the 2019-2020 as presented by Superintendent Drake.
To begin the school year, teachers will report Thursday, August 15 and Monday through Thursday, August 19-22.
The first for students is Friday, August 23, the earliest start date allowed under Iowa law.
The school year is set to conclude Friday, May 22 for students with teachers returning for one additional day Tuesday, May 26.
First semester parent-teacher conferences are scheduled for the last week in October, with the Thanksgiving break runing from an early dismissal on Wednesday, November 27 through Friday, November 29.
Christmas break will begin with an early dismissal Friday, December 20. Classes will resume Thursday, January 2.
Spring parent-teacher conferences will be held the second week in March, followed by a full week of spring break from Friday, March 13 through Friday, March 20.
As in year’s past, the calendar includes six full days and 10 early dismissals devoted to professional development.
All missed days will be added to the end of the calendar.
The board approved the following personnel decisions:
• the resignation of Amy Conklin as a special education associate.
• the hiring of Sally Young and Stephanie Remmenga as middle school track coaches.
• the hiring of Kurt Wallace and Aaron Riley as spring drivers’ ed instructors. Superintendent Drake said instruction will take place after spring sports practices with no instruction on competition days. All instruction be concluded by the beginning of the summer softball season.
In other business the board:
• approved advertising for the sale of an old safe from the high school administrative office.
• accepted a bid of $47,430 through the AEA Co-op Purchasing Agreement for new bleachers on the visitor side of the football/track facility. The new bleachers will be nine rows high and 63 feet long with handicapped accessibility.
• learned radon testing has been completed in both district buildings. Results should be available soon.