Students and teachers in Jonathan Alder Local Schools will have one less free day next school year.
On March 10, the school board voted to no longer observe Central Ohio Teachers Association (COTA) Day in October as a day off from school. The change applies to the 2008-09 and 2009-10 school calendars.
The elimination of COTA Day is the result of the board’s search to add school days to the calendar to offset potential makeup days caused by unplanned school closings. By state law, public schools are allowed five calamity days per school year and students must be in school at least 180 days. Extra calamity days must be made up by taking away a scheduled day off from school, including holiday breaks, or by extending the school year.
Jonathan Alder Superintendent Doug Carpenter said that while the district has observed COTA Day over the years, state law does not require its observance.
During discussion of the issue, board member Steve Votaw said he favored the change. Other board members agreed with Votaw and passed the school calendars for the next two years as follows:
2008-2009 School Year Calendar
Aug. 26—First day of student classes
Sept. 1—No school, Labor Day
Nov. 26-28—No school, parent-teacher conferences and Thanksgiving vacation
Dec. 22-Jan. 4—Winter vacation
Jan. 19—No school, Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Feb. 16—No school, Presidents Day
April 6-13—No school, spring break
May 25—No school, Memorial Day
June 4—Last day of classes for students
2009-2010 School Year Calendar
Aug. 25—First day of student classes
Sept. 7—No school, Labor Day
Nov. 25-27—No school, parent-teacher conferences and Thanksgiving vacation
Dec. 21-Jan. 3—Winter vacation
Jan. 18—No school, Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Feb. 15—No school, Presidents Day
March 29-April 5—No school, spring break
May 31—No school, Memorial Day
June 3—Last day of classes for students.
New Family & Consumer Sciences
In other business, the board reviewed a presentation by Jamie Pund, director of teaching and learning, regarding a new Family and Consumer Sciences class for ninth-grade students. Pund said the semester class will help students “bridge the gap’’ between their eighth- and ninth-grade years and will focus on students taking a more personalized approach to their career goals.
Teachers will help students set goals and identify the steps needed to achieve them.
“It’s a life plan, a career plan, and a plan students can sit down with their counselors and talk about as they enter the high school environment,’’ Pund said.
The board’s next regular meeting will be held at 7 p.m. April 14 in the board conference room at Jonathan Alder High School.