poll shows majority approves
Milan looks at balanced calendar
students, teachers and some Milan school board members attended
a special meeting held at the Milan Elementary School on Wednesday,
April 6 to begin discussion about a balanced calendar for the
Milan Community School Corporation.
A balanced calendar will continue to have 180 days of instruction,
but will have regularly scheduled two week breaks after each nine
weeks of instruction. This means school would start August 1;
then there would be a two week break in October, a two week Christmas
break, and a two or three week break in March, depending on snow
make-up days. There would be a seven week summer break.
According to Reale, the concept of a balanced calendar was presented
during the Board of Managers' meetings at the Southeastern Career
Center. The SCC strives to align its calendar with the calendars
of the participating schools in order to maximize student instruction
time and minimize days with low attendance due to breaks.
Reale presented the following advantages of having a balanced
It would allow students in need of remediation to use the
time to catch up.
After nine weeks, students and teachers get a break and
return to school recharged.
The schools could see an improvement in attendance since
vacations and doctor appointments could be scheduled during the
Test scores could increase because students would better
retain what they have learned.
Common questions from the parents included:
How will the teachers for remediation be paid? Reale explained
that this has not been addressed, but there will only be a requirement
of one or two teachers at each school.
Will bus service be provided for those students who participate
in remediation? According to Reale, transportation to the school
will be the parents responsibility. He said that participation
in remediation is completely voluntary and would only be a few
hours each day.
How would the issue be decided? According to Reale, the
school board would make the final decision on a balanced calendar
to be made into policy. He noted that the calendar can return
to the traditional calendar after a period of time if the balanced
calendar did not work out.
Parents were also concerned about those students who work during
the summer or participate in extra-curricular organizations such
as 4-H fair and the state fair. Parents of special education students
with autism or ADHD explained the difficulty they would have adjusting
to a different schedule.
According to Reale, the issue was presented to the teachers the
day before and had received a positive response. Educationally,
there are no negatives, said Reale.
Its not a teacher or monetary problem, but rather
a way for improvement, he continued.
Someone needs to go first, said Reale, why not
try something new?
A straw poll at the end of the meeting indicated that the majority
of those attending believe that a balanced calendar is a topic
Milan Community School Corporation Superintendent
Dr. Thomas Reale (standing) explained the advantages of
a balanced calendar at a special public meeting held last
Wednesday, April 6. The idea was received with mixed views,
but a straw poll at the end of the meeting showed that most
patrons felt that the idea was worth pursuing.