The Connecticut state Board of Education has approved common school calendars that will eventually synchronize start dates, vacations and teacher training days in districts across the state.Lawmakers in 2013 approved a law requiring that districts across the state, divided into six groups, adopt common calendars. It was meant to allow districts, with matching schedules, to group together to save money on things like bus contracts and teacher training.Connecticuts districts are already grouped together into six regional education service centers for teacher training, minority staff recruitment, human service assistance and other collaborative purposes. The state law requires districts in each RESC to adopt a common calendar.
The law requires the RESCs to develop uniform calendars for the coming school year, but districts don’t have to adopt these calendars until the 2015-16. And if existing contracts conflict with that calendar, the districts can push off adoption until the 2016-17 school year.Under the calendars adopted by the state Board of Education, schools statewide would open Aug. 27, have a common spring vacation and have students out of school for Election Day, allowing for professional development. Districts would be able to determine their own closing dates.
Sharon Board of Education June 9
Regional One Board of Education June 2, 2014
Here are some interesting quotes from today’s story…..
Andrea L. Downs, the town’s representative to the Region 1 Board of Education and its chairman, said some sections of the current governance section in the region’s policies are confusing or lack information. One issue that is not clear is how any of the six towns can withdraw from the pact. She said the law allows it, but it is not spelled out.Downs said when discussing shared services, emotions sometimes enter the discussion. She gave as an example the question of a middle school athletic director, which was taken up a few years ago. The board put together a subcommittee to work on the issue. That subcommittee thought $20,000 was a fair salary for the position, but the school board vetoed it because some local boards said they couldn’t afford their share. “The question is, ‘Where is the power?'” Downs said. “Who’s responsible for making those decisions? The budget falls under the purview of the Region 1 board, but there are items that are important to the elementary schools.” She wondered how they can work collaboratively, so the needs of both the high school and the elementary schools are met and yet an acceptable budget can still be presented. Every community has different needs, she said.
Superintendent Patricia Chamberlain said a decision should be made whether to give the ABC Committee more of a say or get rid of it. “I don’t need an eighth board of education,” she said. “Either it has a role to play or not.”
Downs said she sees her role as representing her town when it comes to the budget, but when talking about shared services, she must consider what she hears at the local board level.”Personally I can’t work in a vacuum,” she told board members. “We should work as a collaboration. You’re also my constituency. I can’t say all board members operate like that. I question whether all board members share my philosophy.”
Andrea is dead on….
And Pat..well it’s not the ABC that needs to go….