The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

March 20, 2014

Ashtabula BOE considers calendar based on hours instead of days

SAYBROOK TOWNSHIP — The Ashtabula Area City School Board is considering a proposed calendar for the 2014-15 school year that’s based on hours instead of school days.

The matter will go before the board for possible adoption during its next meeting at 7 p.m. April 16 at Lakeside High School. A public hearing will be held before then at a pre-announced time.

Assistant Superintendent Lori Riley said the state’s biennial budget that was passed last year included House Bill 59, a change in law that mandates as of next school year calendars are to be based on hours. School districts with half-day kindergarten must have at least 455 hours for kindergarten through sixth grade, or at least 910 hours for those with all day kindergarten, including Ashtabula as it doesn’t offer half-day kindergarten. For grades 7-12, all school districts are required to have at least 1,001 hours. For both the state minimum and Ashtabula’s calendars, in-service, conference and calamity days are included.

The calendar before the board exceeds the required minimums with 968 hours for students in K-6 and 1,056 hours for the junior high and high school. This gives the elementary students 10 calamity days, and the middle and high school nine calamity days.

“We are not decreasing hours,” Riley said, noting part of the reasoning to go from days to hours is to allow for adjustments to schedules because of inclement weather.

To parents and students, the calendar won’t look much different. The proposed calendar starts school for students on Aug. 27.  They get three days off for Thanksgiving, two weeks off for Christmas, and six days off for spring break. School ends for the year on June 5, 2015.

In other business, the board recognized Emily Streeter, a seventh-grade student at Lakeside Junior High School, who won the Veterans of Foreign Wars Essay Contest, “What Patriotism Means to Me.”

Trevor Sprague of the Ashtabula Family YMCA recognized the following Students of the Month: Lea Matchik, LHS; Josie Tackett, LJHS; Penny Gonzales, Superior Intermediate; Cassidy Eland, Erie Intermediate; Delaney Zeman, Michigan Primary; Samuel Huntsberger, Ontario Primary, and Katelyn Clason, Huron Primary.

Kyle Conel, who won the 2014 Division I - 195 lb. - State Wrestling Championship, received a Congratulations Proclama-tion from the board and standing ovation from the crowd.

School Board President Steve Candela said he knew Kyle’s grandparents.

“He comes from a good blood line of going to school and hard work,” he said. “It’s year-round work to get to be a state champion.”

Kyle agreed it was a year-round effort.

“If you want a goal, you have to go out and get it,” he said. “It’s not going to come to you.”

Sydney Streeter, mother of essay winner Emily Streeter, spoke to the board during the  public comment portion of the meeting. She thanked board members for recognizing sports and academics.

“It’s huge,” she said. “I appreciate it.”

Streeter also thanked her daughter’s teacher, Cynthia Notter, for giving Emily the essay for a homework assignment.

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