Clark County School District's Administrators Support New 180 Days Law
Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014 -- 8:18 AM-Many Clark County school districts are already taking advantage of the recent 180 days bill signed into law by Governor Scott Walker.
Under the old law, school districts need to meet a certain number of hours and have 180 face-to-face days for teaching or they could lose their state funding. With the new 180 days bill signed into law, districts still need to meet the required number of hours, but they have more flexibility on the number of days they teach.
Many Clark County districts have already made changes to this year?s calendar because of the bill. John Gaier, District Administrator of Neillsville, said ?The board did decide to not use April 21st as a make-up day. Both the elementary school and middle/high school exceed the annual minimum hour requirement without an additional make-up day.?
Cale Jackson, District Administrator of Loyal said, ?We are looking at consolidating 9 afternoon in-service days into 3 full-days. This will save us approximately $5,000 in bus expenses while not losing any time with students. We were not able to do this before the rule change.? Mr. Jackson said they plan on doing this in next year?s calendar as well.
Jennifer Vogler, Superintendent of Greenwood, said, ?The 180 days bill has helped Greenwood. We will not need to make up any time this year with this recent change. Our school days are longer than some schools around us so we have now met the requirements with this change.?
Looking at next year?s calendar many of the administrators said that there calendar is set for 2014-15, so they won?t be making changes. But, they will discuss with their boards if they want to take advantage of the new options available to them. Bob Houts, District Administrator of Owen-Withee, said, ?I am going to discuss with our board and see if we want to make changes to our days/calendar to take advantage of the options now available.?
Chuck Buckel, District Administrator of Granton, said, ?The calendar for next year will be similar to this year?s calendar, but there will be some tweaking of days.?
Mr. Gaier said, ?The big change in our calendar next year will be to have a late start one day a month to be used for teacher professional development opportunities. There is no decision yet on what day of each month that will be, but we will getting that announcement out as soon as dates are decided on, so parents can plan accordingly.?
All the administrators support this new law. Mr. Houts said, ?I support the flexibility the bill now gives us. I am not in favor of fewer days of instruction for the sake of going to school less. But, if we can find a way to use the flexibility to deliver instruction in a better way and improve the opportunities we make available to kids, I am all for it.?
Mr. Buckel said, ?I support the new legislation because I like the idea of local control.?
Mr. Gaier said, ?I do support the 180 days bill. It does give local school boards some flexibility to create student learning opportunities that best fits the needs of their district?s children.?
And Mr. Jackson said, ?It allows flexibility and cost savings without sacrificing face-to-face student contact minutes.?
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