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School board approves calendar for 2010-11

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Opening delayed to give workers time to finish

By Kevin Koelling, Managing Editor

TELL CITY - Tell City-Troy Township School Board members approved at a regular meeting March 9 a calendar for next year that will give construction workers as much time as possible to complete summer projects, Schools Superintendent Ron Etienne said.

"The most significant thing is we're starting eight days later," he said of the calendar, which will have students reporting to school Aug. 19. Teachers will get a day's head start on them, and the first holiday for all of them will be Labor Day Sept. 6.

Other days off will include fall break Oct. 29 and the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, Nov. 24, but both of those days are reserved as bad-weather makeup days. For-sure holidays will come Thanksgiving Day and the following Friday, Nov. 26, and Christmas break from Dec. 23 to Jan. 2, 2011.

Schools will be in session Jan. 3 until Jan. 17, when Martin Luther King Jr. Day will mean a break unless another makeup day is needed.

Winter break Feb. 18 and Presidents Day Feb. 21 will also serve as makeup days if needed.

Spring break is scheduled for March 21-25. Good Friday will kick off a four-day weekend April 22-25, but that Monday is reserved as the school corporation's sixth makeup day.

May 27 will be the last day for students and teachers and graduation day for the former.

Policy Revisions

The board also approved a number of policies - affecting the teaching of state and national government, gifted students, family and medical leaves and other issues - that had been provided to them ahead of their Feb. 9 meeting.

Students in sixth through 12th grades will be required to learn about the constitutions of the United States and Indiana, federal and Hoosier State systems of government, and personal financial responsibility under the policy changes.

The high school will also be required to teach American history, and eighth-graders will be required to undergo safety education.

Students from kindergarten through 12th grade will get instruction on the nature of alcoholic beverages, tobacco, prescription drugs, narcotics and their effects on the human system and society.

High-schoolers will learn about breast and testicular cancer, including the importance of early detection via self-examination and mammographies.

The school corporation will develop a plan to ensure high-ability students from kindergarten up are provided "appropriate educational experiences" under another revision to policies. The corporation must convene a committee periodically to assess the plan, which must include a multifaceted student-identification system that includes performance- and potential-based and alternative assessments.

The word gifted has been deleted from the policies and replaced with high-ability student, and a revision defines such a student as one who through assessment performs at or shows potential to perform at an outstanding level of accomplishment in general intellectual or creative or specific academic, technical or practical arts, visual and performing arts. Such a student demonstrates "exceptional gifts, talents, motivation or interests," the revised policy reads.

The date by which the school board must notify a nonpermanent teacher whose performance is unsatisfactory his or her contract won't be renewed was bumped from May to June in another revision. In odd-numbered years, the deadline could be June 15 "or the date a budget act is enacted by the General Assembly."

A number of changes were made to a policy regarding absences under the Family and Medical Leave Act, including rules for situations where absences are necessary to support deploying, ill or injured military members. The revised policy requires the corporation to provide it to all staff members.

A new policy defines the corporation's responsibility to support its staff members who are called to active military duty. Among other issues, it defines the corporation pay and insurance benefits such members are eligible for while serving their state or nation.