School year extended by two days
Due to the severe winter weather, the 2013-14 school year will be two days longer for local students.
At Monday night’s meeting of the Cloquet School Board, members voted to extend the school year through Tuesday, June 3 — meaning the school year will now extend past the Memorial Day weekend.
“We just felt that we value the instructional days,” Superintendent Ken Scarbrough said. “We are limited to what we can add to the calendar, which is set by state law.”
There is no penalty for districts which do not meet state guidelines for days and hours of instruction, and with the winter being as severe as it was (and still has been, depending on who you talk to), many school districts around the state are in a similar bind.
“We might lose a bit of money with the alternative school students, where the cost of running a day of school is more than we receive from the state in aid for those hours anyway,” Scarbrough added.
Teachers will still have the last 2.5 days of the work week in June for in-service time and to prepare for the next school year.
In other news, the board voted to extend Business Manager Kim Josephson’s contract for another year in an agreement with Regional Resources.
“He’s an outstanding business manager,” Scarbrough said.
Josephson receives a 1.5 percent raise the same as the district’s teachers got in their last contract — and Scarbrough is allowed to request up to 15 days of additional service beyond the days written in the contract.
“It’s a very critical position,” Scarbrough said of Josephson’s job. “He helped guide the Cloquet School District for well over a decade before coming back through Regional Resources. He has made sure we are well aware of what is coming with our budget and he makes sure we have a good budget in place.”
“The district is in sound financial condition and a lot of that is due to his leadership in that area,” Scarbrough added.
The board also passed an annual housekeeping measure, allowing the administration to make recommendations for reduction of programs and positions for next year if required.
“That isn’t due to any kind of financial strain,” Scarbrough said. “We’re getting into the registration process for next year and that is to cover us if we have lower numbers in certain sections and our class sizes aren’t up to snuff for any reason.”
‘”It’s just to say that we are leaving room to make reductions in certain sections if we don’t have enough kids,” he added. “We might lose specialist time if we don’t have enough students to fill sections.”
Filling elementary sections has not proven difficult in recent years, with growing enrollment forcing the district to consider changing the number of grades housed in Churchill and Washington schools as part of its ongoing facilities project.
Several area schools have added make-up school days to their calendars because of days missed this winter due to snow and/or extreme cold.
- Barnum: Barnum is making up five of the seven days with students, and one day with staff, but without students. The day Governor Dayton closed school is not being made up.
- Carlton: Carlton added three student contact days on March 21, April 21 and June 5 and and moved the last teacher day to June 6.
- Cloquet: Cloquet added two instructional days for students, extending the school year through Tuesday, June 3.
- Cromwell-Wright: The Cromwell-Wright School District will make up all five of the days that students missed this winter.
- Esko: The teaching staff in Esko is making up six days and the students are making up three days. The three days that staff are making up without students will be used for staff development.
- Moose Lake: Moose Lake took four vacation/inservice days from the calendar and made them student contact days. The District also moved four teacher inservice days to the end of the year and made the Monday after Easter a student contact day rather than the originally scheduled vacation day.