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BOE OKs Calamity Day Resolution

July 14, 2011

NEW BREMEN — New Bremen Board of Education members voted to accept a new calamity day resolution at their meeting Wednesday evening.

The new resolution, if approved by the New Bremen Teacher’s Association, would allow the district the option to use online learning to make up for calamity days that would otherwise require students to attend school at a later date. Students would be given a “weather day” and would be allotted two weeks to finish the assignments. Superintendent Ann Harvey said she thinks the plan is a good option to have, even though they may not need to use it.

“We’re going to have to miss nine days before this actually comes into effect,” Harvey said, noting that the schools would have to use their five calamity days and four holidays.

“There are some pros,” Harvey said. “Like, if you have a really terrible winter and you don’t have enough make-up days. I dislike having students come in after Memorial Day because you’ve already graduated seniors, and it’s not a good learning environment when it gets hot and the kids are antsy. The pro I think would be to be able to have this as an option in a winter that’s very bad, where it’s necessary.”

Harvey noted that she was concerned about students that do not have Internet access at home.

“There are kids who don’t have Internet at home,” Harvey said. “I know we don’t have a lot of them, but we do have them.”

Harvey noted that when students return to school, they will be able to complete the assignments on the school computers if they are unable to do them at home.

The teachers must have three online lessons developed by Nov. 1, according to the resolution, and may update the lessons throughout the school year.

“It may be a bit of a challenge for some of them to develop something that’s relevant and that’s worthwhile,” Harvey said.

The resolution must also be approved by the teacher’s association before it can take effect. Harvey said she anticipates the teachers to also accept the resolution.

“If the teachers vote it down, it’s not going to happen,” Harvey said. “I think it’ll pass hands-down, but we’ll see.”

New Bremen High School underwent several technology updates during the summer.

The new staff computers are in and updated, wireless Internet has been installed and a projector was installed in the auditorium.

A new website was also launched this week and should be available by Friday. Harvey said the new website, NewBremenSchools.org, will be good for the district.

“It’s really just a huge step forward and a much nicer branding product for us, and I think people will use it because it’s going to have information important to everybody,” Harvey said. “And it’ll grow.”

Harvey noted that there are two board members up for re-election in November.

Anyone interested in running must submit a petition by Aug. 10.

“One (member) indicated that they will run again and one indicated that they probably will not,” Harvey said.

In other business, board members also:

• Approved the minutes for the June 8 regular meeting and the June 21 finance committee meeting.

• Approved the general fund and lunch fund paid bills.

• Approved the hiring of Sarah Hemmelgarn, an English teacher, and Liz Utz, a Title I teacher.

• Approved the substitute and hourly rates.

• Approved the school fees for the 2011-12 school year.

• Approved to apply and/or participate in state and federal grants and programs for the 2011-12 school year.

• Approved Suna Kim of South Korea as a foreign exchange student for the 2011-12 school year.

• Approved a waiver day for March 7, 2012, to support the Grading for Learning Innovative Education Pilot Program.

• Approved the athletic ticket prices and the senior citizens passes.

• Approve the Student Handbook revisions for the 2011-12 school year.

• Approve the 2011-12 Activity Calendar.

• Approved the lunch prices for the 2011-12 school year.

The next BOE meeting is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Aug. 10 in the elementary library.
 

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