The Pettisville School Board discussed the pros and cons of the proposed calendar for the 2016-17 school year during its Monday, Feb. 8 meeting.
The calendar proposal includes a week-long spring break in March as opposed to a longer break tied into Easter, which falls in mid-April in 2017.
The proposed calendar calls for students to start school on Aug. 23 and finish on June 2, 2017, the Friday after Memorial Day.
The proposal also moves parent-teacher conferences to the week of Thanksgiving, which is 13 weeks into the school year.
Loren Roth, a board member, asked if moving the conferences later was an issue.
“The secondary students have their grades online now, and parents can keep up easier with how their students are doing,” said Steve Switzer, superintendent.
“But the elementary teachers have a different system, and it will affect them more.”
“I think the elementary teachers, particularly the primary grade teachers, would prefer to have parents in earlier,” said Jason Waldvogel, elementary principal.
All board members said they had not had much feed- back from parents about the issues, including the conferences and spring break.
“We want to do what’s best for the students to advance their learning,” said John King, board president. “We need to consider the calendar from that perspective.”
A suggestion was made that the district survey some parents, students and teachers. Switzer said they will look at it.
No action was taken to approve or reject the proposed calendar.
Switzer also said the wind turbine had to be turned down because of the state of Ohio net metering rule.
The rule requires the district not produce more electricity than it uses.
“Calculations show we could have produced another $13,610 worth of electricity, but we had to forgo that to try and meet the (net metering) requirement,” he said.
Pettisville is seeking changes in the net metering rule, but so far no action has been taken.
“We are looking at making changes to our energy use so we use more electricity and less natural gas,” Switzer said. “That may be coming in the future.”
Switzer said state funds to be received under the new Ohio budget continue to improve.
The new estimate showed another $82,000 in state funding for Pettisville.
“We will eventually see what the actual amounts are with the final figures, but the estimates continue to be positive,” Switzer said.
Chris Lee, treasurer, reported the district received $12,000 from the state casino tax.
Kindergarten pre-registration and testing is April 1, said Waldvogel. All students who turn five years old before Aug. 1 are eligible.
Waldvogel said that open enrollment and district residents have already begun to register students for kindergarten.
Michael Lane, high school principal, reviewed curriculum changes.
“Due to changes in state requirements, the math curriculum will change beginning the next school year,” Lane said.
The new requirements are that all high school students receive four credits in math, and all students must have credit in Algebra II.
Pettisville will offer three math tracks. One will split the Algebra II course into two parts, each lasting all year.
The other two tracks will fit Algebra II into one year. One will offer an advanced math that covers pre-calculus and trigonometry.
The other track will start Algebra I in eighth grade and will include a calculus course.
Curriculum offerings will also change in the family and consumer science department.
Lane said, eventually, changes call for a four-year sequence of classes for students to move through, similar to what is currently offered in agriculture education.
All members were present at the meeting, and all votes were unanimous.
The next meeting is Monday, March 14, 7 p.m., in the school conference room.–D.J. Neuenschwander