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Old 03-20-2009, 05:05 PM
 
Location: Western Hoosierland
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Indiana state superintendent of public enstruction Dr. Sue Ellen Reed has set forth new policies for all public schools in the state of Indiana that will go into effect this August.


1. Half-days will be done away with
2. No Early Releases or Late Starts
3. High School Seniors are to stay in school the full 180 days.--Which means they can't graduate 2-4 days early at the end of the school year.
4. Final Exam days must go all day


This was recently reported in the Hendricks County Flyer and or The Indianapolis Star during a interview with the state superintendent over the issue of students needing to stay in school for the full 180 days.
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Old 03-20-2009, 06:38 PM
 
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Give credit or blame where it's due, Dr. Tony Bennett is the Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction and it's his policy.

Indiana's public school students need to get a quality education. It's a valid question whether this policy change will inprove their chances. I suspect it won't hurt.
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Old 03-20-2009, 08:00 PM
 
Location: Western Hoosierland
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sorry I must be getting Dr. Sue Ellen Read mixed up with someone else. Yes I may not like it at first but I know it wont hurt in the long run
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Old 03-20-2009, 08:50 PM
 
Location: Bloomington IN
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gdude--I appreciate the effort at beginning a conversation here, but I think the facts are incomplete.

Based upon the articles I've read, 1/2 days will not necessarily be done away with but won't count as a full instructional day. Most early release days are currently counted as 1/2 days. In the Bloomington paper it said that 2 hour delays for weather reasons, otherwise known as late start days, will still count as an instructional day. Since MCCSC has always made up full snow days, Seniors don't graduate early, and final exam days are a full day, none of this has much of an effect here. The only difficulty is the 1/2 days for professional days or teacher conferences.

I would expect many districts have the teacher contracts already in place for next year outlining expectations of teacher attendance, professional days, etc. This is where the difficulty in making these changes lies. It's more than a matter of changing calendars. In some instances it may require reworking teacher contracts with unions.

My biggest surprise was to learn other districts don't make up snow days, etc. Because our district does stuff already, I saw this as a lot of puffing by the new Supt. (Sue Ellen Reed was the previous Supt. FYI)
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Old 03-20-2009, 09:00 PM
 
Location: Western Hoosierland
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I've read the article and it does state that but I also get to hear the other side of the story from the superintendent from our district interpreting it that 1/2 days are a thing of the past. what I meant by late start is some schools instead of having early release days they have late start days( Like Carmel-Clay Schools do) those will be eliminated. 2hr delays will count as a FULL instructional day. The Senior graduation and the Exam days will have big effects here.

Thanks for informing me that Sue Ellen Reed was the Former Supt! I need to brush up a bit!!..lol
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Old 03-26-2009, 04:55 PM
 
Location: Indiana
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The news this morning said 1/2 days will still be on the calendar, but will not count toward the 180, neither will 2 hour delay days. The clip they showed of him talking with IIRC the education service committee or some such had him saying he believes we should have longer school years period, on top of not counting such things.

All in all, I'm fine with that. The lobby that seeks to do away with freedom of homeschool choice in Indiana says that part of the law they want is to force parents to show that they have provided 8 hours of instruction per day for each of 180 days. Why shouldn't the public schools have to do the same?
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Old 03-26-2009, 05:24 PM
 
Location: Turn Left at Greenland
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I hate half days ...
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Old 03-26-2009, 05:30 PM
 
Location: Turn Left at Greenland
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Here's the press release (bold's are mine):

Bennett Announces Changes to 180 Instructional Day Policies
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Media Contact:
Cam Savage, 317-232-6615, csavage@doe.in.gov



(Indianapolis) – Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Tony Bennett announced changes in Department of Education policies designed to ensure students receive at least 180 days of instructional time each year, the minimum number required by state law.

“As President Obama said last week in unveiling his education agenda, ‘the challenges of a new century demand more time in the classroom,’ and I couldn’t agree more,” Bennett said. “The academic achievement of students is an urgent state priority and we should begin by ensuring students are in class at least the full number of days required by state law.”

Bennett announced a change in the way the Department of Education will handle waivers of the financial penalty for canceled instructional days due to severe weather. Last week the Department of Education adopted an emergency policy establishing guidelines for school corporations to apply for waivers of the financial penalty for canceled instructional days during the 2008 – 2009 school year only.

However, beginning in the 2009 – 2010 school year, the Department of Education does not intend to adopt such emergency policies.

“In the past, the Department of Education has occasionally allowed school corporations not to make up all the days that were canceled due to weather,” Bennett said. “Going forward, we believe this practice does not meet the needs of Indiana’s students. School corporations have it in their power to create academic schedules that build in the necessary flexibility that will allow them to ensure their students receive at least the minimum number of instructional days. The Department of Education stands ready to assist schools in planning their calendars and seeking creative solutions to guarantee students receive the 180 days of classroom instruction.”

After comprehensive review of the statutory language authorizing the waiver of a financial penalty by the Department’s legal staff and independent experts, the Department concluded that the practice of allowing eligible schools to schedule up to six half-days professional development during the school day was outside the scope of the waiver statute that authorizes the Department of Education to grant waivers only when instructional days are “canceled” due to “extraordinary circumstances.”

Beginning in the 2009 – 2010 school year, the Department of Education will no longer permit schools to use half-days for professional development activities within the 180 full instructional day requirement.

Additionally, parent-teacher conferences must be conducted outside of the 180 day requirement. A one or two hour delay due to weather-related conditions will still be considered an extraordinary circumstance. The school day will still be counted as an instructional day with this type of delay.
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Old 03-26-2009, 07:11 PM
 
Location: Western Hoosierland
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thanks for posting this Domergurl
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Old 03-27-2009, 07:22 AM
 
Location: Turn Left at Greenland
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I love this! Half days for teacher development are a waste of time to students and parents. I go into the school on these days sometimes and I see the teachers sititng there kibbitzing and eating popcorn ... yea, lots of professional development going on there! I'm sure there are many teachers howling about this ... boo hoo I say, each yer popcorn at home! I also like the p/t conference change.
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