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School board approves calendar proposal

By Staff | Feb 22, 2019

The Rugby Public School District will have 10 additional days of professional learning next year.

In a regular meeting last Tuesday morning in the Rugby High School Library, the Rugby Public School District No. 5 Board of Education approved changes to the 2019-20 school calendar.

In additional to district and building meetings on Aug. 19, professional development days would be held on Aug. 28, Sept. 25, Oct. 23, Nov. 19, Dec. 11, Jan. 20, Feb. 19, March 25, April 22 and May 13 next school year. Most of those professional development dates would fall on Wednesdays, with the exception of Aug. 19 and Jan. 20.

The school district would still have late starts at 9 a.m. on Wednesdays for teacher collaboration. However early dismissals would be eliminated.

With no school on professional learning days, students in the district will receive 170 days of classroom instruction next year, compared to 175 days of classroom instruction currently.

By comparison, this year’s calendar had professional development days on Sept. 10, 2018 and Jan. 21, 2019, in addition to the teacher orientation and district/building meetings prior to the first day of school. Early dismissal days were on Oct. 24 and Dec. 19, with another slated for March 6. The early dismissal slated for April 24 has been canceled , and May 24 has been deemed a storm makeup day.

District Superintendent Mike McNeff stressed the importance of having quality teachers and looking and questioning the current model. He shared a Jim Collins quote: “Good is the enemy of great.”

“We’re a good school,” said McNeff. “I think we want to be great.”

RHS Social Studies instructor Kevin Leier said in private sector jobs 30 percent of time is focused on research and development, and the move could be a “benefit in the long run”

Nicole Schneibel, who was in attendance, questioned whether the proposed changes had been discussed with the Early Learning Center and Little Flower School.

Board member Shane Livedalen said a rollout of changes presented could disaffect some in the community and there may be some adjusting needed.

“[I] think it’s for the best,” Livedalen said.

Other actions

– The board approved the second reading of a policy on prohibiting aiding sexual abuse, and the second reading of policies pertaining of transporting students in foster care to school.

– The board approved setting the date of school board member elections to June 4.

– The board approved the consent agenda, which included January meeting minutes, bills and financial statements, open enrollments, resignations and contract approvals for two teachers.

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