The Pilot News

Union-north School Board discusses 2023-2024 calendar; delay start on Wednesdays draws discussion

- By angela Cornell Staff Writer

LAKEVILLE—THE Union-north School Board discussed the school calendar for the 2023-2024 school year. Before presenting it to the board, the corporatio­n formed a committee with staff from the elementary and the junior-senior high to discuss the various calendar issues facing the school. “There was a lot of things discussed back and forth,” said Superinten­dent Dr. angela Piazza. The finished product from that committee is what the board passed during their board meeting.

One part of the discussion was the one-hour delayed start on Wednesdays. This is to allow for teachers to further their profession­al developmen­t, a requiremen­t from the state. However, a Laville parent, andrew Doyle, spoke on this, explaining that he was not in favor of the delayed start and requested that the board consider some other time for teachers to improve their profession­al skills. “The delayed start on Wednesday may have some benefits, but I know from my experience of taking kids later has been kind of a wrinkle in my employment schedule as well as maybe some others in the audience,” he said.

Board member Kaman Eash addressed this concern directly, explaining that school-provided profession­al developmen­t is something that’s built into school structure. She also said that Union-north isn’t the only school that has a late start time to allow for profession­al developmen­t and that it works well elsewhere. That being said, the board wasn’t sure how many hours were mandated by state code or even if there was a specific number required at all. Eash did, however, thank Doyle for his comments and said that it would be an issue that the board would consider at a later date.

Board member arden Balmer also commented that there was supposed to be an option available for the parents who need to drop off their children at the regular time on Wednesday

mornings. Upon hearing that this was new informatio­n to Doyle, Balmer reminded the board that when the profession­al developmen­t was moved from twice a month to once a week, one of the contingenc­ies was that the school would do what was necessary to make sure it wasn’t a hardship for the parents or support staff. “This cannot be a burden to our community. I know it’s worthwhile to the teachers,” said Balmer. However, on further discussion, the board wasn’t sure the plan had actually been implemente­d.

Balmer also expressed concern that Union-north’s breaks didn’t coordinate well with John Glenn’s schedule, something that can be an irritant for the special needs students at both schools. The reason for this is because Union-north conforms to Plymouth school breaks for vocational studies. Balmer asked the board, and by extension the calendar committee, to try to synchroniz­e better with both schools in future years. “I know, this has got to be tough. But I would like to see—since we’re so closely working with Plymouth and Glenn—if we can get the three together. I think Glenn has made an effort here, to get the spring break and Christmas break together,” he said.

Board member Tom Smith pointed out that Union-north’s schedule is a good one, but suggested that maybe it would behoove the three corporatio­ns to go to a two-year calendar instead of a one-year, something that has been discussed before, which would enable the three corporatio­ns to discuss matters more readily than otherwise. In any case, nothing will be able to change until the 2024-2025 school year, since Plymouth’s school calendar for the 20232024 school year has been voted on and posted already.

Balmer also suggested moving spring break down a week so that it took place over Good Friday, enabling school to get out a day earlier in the summer.

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