With a number of calendar-changing winters under their belts, Benjamin Logan administrators and education association leaders have collaborated to thwart future weather-related upheavals with a pacesetting agreement, approved at Monday’s board of education meeting.
Superintendent David Harmon outlined the memorandum of understanding between the district and teachers union that sets the minimum number of hours, rather than days, required for teachers and students at 1,305 and 1,050, respectively. The student number is well above the state’s requirement of 910 hours for full-day kindergarten through grade 6 and 1,001 hours for students in grades 7 through 12, according to the Ohio Department of Education web site.
This move in itself “shows the vision and leadership of school administrators and BLEA leaders,” Mr. Harmon noted.
Each regularly scheduled school day is 6.25 hours. Under the new agreement, after school has been canceled 11 times, teachers will be required to be in school from 9:50 a.m. to 3 p.m., if deemed safe to do so by the superintendent, and will use that time for professional development or other appropriate activity.
As for the missed educational time beyond the state-allowed five days, days 6 through 11 will be made up through e-days, or electronic classroom days, and the blizzard bag program. Days/hours beyond that can be added to regular hours by adding time to the beginning of the school days as much as possible as to not interfere with after-school activities and parent schedules.
Once falling below the minimum 1,050 hours, the superintendent has the authority with advance notice to use Martin Luther King Day, Presidents Day and spring break days to make up time or add time in half-hour increments to the regular school day until the hours are made up. Any time beyond that could then be added to the end of the school year, if necessary.
Leaders added that Benjamin Logan is the only area school to implement this “forward-thinking” strategy to corral what in the past has led to the addition of days to the end of the school year.
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