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Fillmore Central School Board changes snow day policy

Fri, Mar 28th, 2014
Posted in Harmony Education

Due to the harsh winter and many snow days that came with it, the Fillmore Central School Board discussed the current policy in regards to make-up days.

The current policy states the first snow day is forgiven, and after that the district must make up the next five. Going by this policy, the school would have to make up four days at the end of the school year. This would put the last student day at June 9 and the last teacher day June 10.

In the new policy that was recommended, the first snow day will be forgiven, but the district must make up the next three days by adding them to the end of the school year. Teachers must use PTO or complete staff development programs to make up for any missed days beyond the first four. The teacher’s contracts are approved for a certain amount of days per year.

Superintendent Richard Keith suggested they set the last day of school for the students to be June 5, with teachers coming back on June 6. He said the city of Harmony has been asking when school will be finished so they can begin the 1st Avenue street repair project.

Board member Emily Ellis said that was not what the policy committee decided, and asked why they even have a meeting if what they decide is not followed.

Board member Deb Ristau was concerned about the staff development programs, and how they would be monitored. Keith said they can set up online staff development the teachers can do from home, including activities on Schoology.

“I don’t want to make it sound like we don’t think the teachers are doing what they should be, because we do,” said Ristau. “I just don’t want to complicate things.”

Jim Love, who is on the policy committee, stated the policy will never be perfect. “It’s going to be ever evolving,” he said, adding they thought they had a policy that would cover everything, but this winter was unexpectedly harsh.

The board approved the first reading of the changed policy. They also set the last day of school for students to be Friday, June 5, which is a half a day. Teachers will return on Monday, June 9 for a work day.

Principal Reports

Principal Heath Olstad said the seniors will be leaving on their trip to Washington, D.C. on April 4 and returning April 13. On April 3, the 7-8 grade band will be performing at Wisconsin Dells. Science students in grades 9-11 will be taking a trip to the Science Museum in St. Paul on April 8.

Dean Chris Mensink informed the board they are expecting 43 students to be enrolled in kindergarten next year, possibly more. Kindergarten round-up was held on March 18.

Special Ed. Director Micki Breitsprecher updated the board on the extended school year program. She is still waiting for the number of qualifying students to decide on staffing needs. The program will run from July 28-August 1 and August 4-8 at the Preston site.

According to Breitsprecher, enrollment is up to seven at the Root River Program, with five of them being in 7th and 8th grade, which is new in the program that has mainly had high school students.

Other Business

The resignation of daycare aide Chelsey Johnson was approved. The board also approved the resignation of Jim Schott as custodian.

A Luther College Field Experience agreement was approved.

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