(Posted March 18, 2015)
By Sandi Latimer, Staff Writer
Jonathan Alder Local Schools students have missed nine days of classroom instruction this school year. They’ve made up some of that lost time, but may not have to make it all up.
State law allows for five calamity days a year, said Superintendent Gary Chapman at the March 9 school board meeting.
One day was made up Feb. 16, Presidents’ Day. Another day was made up March 2, originally scheduled as a professional day for teachers. A third missed day is to be made up April 6, the day after Easter.
“We’re trying to retrieve that second day for the teachers’ professional education,” he said.
Student instruction is calculated on hours this year, so even with the waived days, Jonathan Alder students still have more hours in the classroom than the minimum requirement. That last day may not be made up, Chapman said.
The last day of school is scheduled to be May 29 with graduation set for May 31.
Last school year, several missed days were made up with blizzard bags where teachers created assignments for students to do while at home. Teachers were not enthused about that process and didn’t want to do it again this year.
Chapman said the search for a new high school principal and technology director is proceeding.
The district received 36 applications for the principal’s position, which Phil Harris is vacating at the end of this year. Harris has been with the district for 35 years, 31 of them as principal.
Chapman said he has narrowed the field to 11 applicants for interviews. Applicants, he said, have experience as a principal or assistant at the high school or junior high level.
The district received 25 applications for the technology position. That field has been narrowed and interviews have started.
Chapman said he hopes to have a decision on both positions before the end of the school year.
The board accepted the retirement of middle school physical education instructor Kim Sinkhorn. Chapman said he reached into the list of teachers affected by the reduction-in-force (RIF) plan from over a year ago to find a replacement.
The RIF, implemented when the district faced a financial crisis a couple of years ago, created a list of people that could be offered re-employment within two years if needed. Chapman went to that list to offer Sinkhorn’s position to former physical education instructor Chris Clapham who has accepted the offer. His employment will be acted upon at the April 13 board meeting.
The board also approved the hiring of Matt Evans as girls’ varsity soccer coach. Evans has been an assistant coach at Reynoldsburg for three years and most recently an assistant at his alma mater, Hilliard Darby.
The board approved plans for the Summer Academy for Innovative Learning (SAIL) to be held June 8-12 at Canaan Middle School. Eight classes will be held in a morning session and seven in the afternoon session. All classes feature hands-on projects on creative topics and will be taught by local teachers
The five-day program is open to all students who are completing third through eighth grade. The cost is $50 per session. Ten students are required for the session to be offered and classes are capped at 12 students. Registration is now being accepted.
The board’s next meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. April 13.