Mt. Vernon Register-News

News

February 9, 2006

Fall break? District 80 considers taking a week off at the end of October

BY APRIL TOLER

april.toler@register-news.com

MT. VERNON — Pupils in District 80 currently receive a spring break, Christmas break and summer vacation.

But with board approval, they may receive a fall break during the next school year.

Superintendent Kevin Settle presented a proposal Wednesday night asking the board of education to approve the 2006-07 school calendar with the addition of a three-day fall break during the last week of October.

“Students are off on Thursday and Friday (of that week) due to the Mt. Vernon Conference,” Settle said. “So it would give students the whole week off.”

Settle recently sent out e-mails to administrators and staff at all of District 80’s attendance centers asking for their input on the change. He said he received a total of 35 e-mail responses — out of approximately 230 possible — with 15 staff members opposing the break, 20 who are in favor.

Teachers who are opposed to this change feel an entire week off would make it difficult to get pupils back in the swing of things.

But Settle said he sees a number of benefits — for both teachers and pupils — that a calendar change could have.

Since that week is at the end of a grading period, Settle said the break would give teachers more of an opportunity to prepare for the next quarter and for the Mt. Vernon Conference.

“And the students would enjoy a fall break,” he said.

If the board approves the new calendar, Settle said the school year would begin classes on Aug. 14 instead of Aug. 16, and instead of receiving two days off during the last week of October, pupils and staff would receive a full week.

Settle said the school year would still end on May 22 for District 80.

This calendar would coordinate with Mt. Vernon Township High School’s current calendar but would be different from any other school in Jefferson County.

The board decided to table the issue to wait on more feedback from teachers and administrators.

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