The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

March 21, 2014

Geneva students to have longer school days

By DEVASTASHA BEAVER — dbeaver@starbeacon.com
Star Beacon

GENEVA — The Geneva Area City Schools Board of Education decided during its regular meeting Wednesday to make up four calamity days by adding a half an hour to each school day from April 14 to June 5, as well as holding school April 21.

The school day will begin 15 minutes earlier and end 15 minutes later to make up lost instruction time. Treasurer Kevin Lillie said  adding make-up days at the end of the school year would cost $40,000 for just three days, while increasing the length of the school day will not incur an additional cost to the district.

Superintendent Mary Zappitelli said, "This seems to be our best option to increase instruction time. When days are added at the end of the year, there really isn't as much instructional time."

She said at the high school, five minutes will be added to each class period except fifth, and at the middle school three to four minutes will be added to each period, except for lunch periods.

Board president Edward Brashear said, "This will help elementary students the most. I am glad we are focusing on the quality of education with this solution."

In other business, the board revoked the action taken at the March 27, 2013 meeting which suspended the 2013-14 contract guidelines for administrators, directors, supervisors and central office staff and approved a wage freeze for the same personnel effective July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014.

Board member Jessecca Wilt was the only board member to vote "no," stating she does not support the recommendation because the workload and financial burden is not the same as that faced by the Geneva Area Teachers Association.

Wilt also voted "no," on the recommendation the board suspend the contract guidelines for administrators, directors, supervisors  and central office staff for the 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16 contract years and approve a one percent increase to the base in each year for administrators, directors, supervisors, and central office staff, retroactive to July 1, 2013. The motion passed.

The board also renewed the contracts of the following administrators, director and supervisor for three years, to be paid according to the adopted contract guidelines: Alex Anderson, Assistant Principal; Steve Candela, Principal; Melissa Doherty, Principal; Kaye Haskins, Principal; Brett Horvath, Administrative Assistant; Anthony Markijohn, Assistant Principal; Michael Penzenik, Principal; Laura Jones, Director of Food Service; and Charlotte Leonard, Route & Bus Driver Supervisor.