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Wauwatosa School Board reviews proposed 2014-15 calender

Jan. 22, 2014

The Wauwatosa School Board last week reviewed a proposed calendar for the 2014-15 school year, which Human Resources Director Dan Chanen called "pretty standard."

The calendar is proposed, not final, until the School Board approves it, likely at its next meeting Monday.

The proposed school-year calendar was developed with staff input, and Chanen said one goal was to end the school year for students before the third week of June — on Friday, June 12 — with the last day for teachers falling on Monday, June 15. Commencement has yet to be scheduled.

In a change from this year, spring break next year would return to its traditional place, starting on Good Friday, April 3, and running through April 10.

This year, with Good Friday falling relatively late in the month — April 18 — spring break was scheduled to end, not begin, on Good Friday.

Some discussion at last week's School Board meeting was given to "conference compensation days" — days with no school that make up for the evening conference times worked by teachers. The calendar notes them on Nov. 26, the day before Thanksgiving, and April 3, Good Friday — days on which school would not be held in any case.

They are noted as compensation days due to "overwhelming staff feedback" that they be designated that way, Chanen said.

Board member Mary Jo Randall suggested the compensation designation was confusing, and it would be simpler to note them just as days off.

Superintendent Phil Ertl noted that teachers are paid a professional salary, not an hourly salary, and are not held to start and end times in a day. They work evenings on class preparation, he said. But, he said, "there's give and take to that," and the compensation designation responds to teacher concerns.

"Five, six years from now, if we stop calling it a conference compensation day, somebody's going to come to the microphone and say 'We should be compensated for evening conferences,'" said School Board President Michael Meier.

Chanen noted that May 22 is a scheduled day off, but will be a school day if a snow day is called. This school year, because two days were canceled due to extremely cold weather, school will be held on two scheduled days off, Feb. 17 and May 23.

For 2014-15, there are 193 "maintained," or scheduled days, and 180 teaching days, Chanen said.

Ertl said he would like in the future to create a mechanism for broader family input on the schedule.

"We need a loop in there that includes parents and students," he said.

Tenative 2014-15 school calendar

Sept. 2First day of school
Oct. 9 and 14Elementary conferences, 4:30 to 8 p.m.
Oct. 10Elementary conferences; no school junior kindergarten through fifth grade
Oct. 13JK conferences; JK students have school
Oct. 14 and 23Middle school conferences, 4:30 to 8 p.m.
Oct. 24No school; teacher in-service day
Oct. 16 and 21High school conferences, 4:30 to 8 p.m.
Nov. 26No school; conference compensation day
Nov. 27Thanksgiving Day
Nov. 28No school
Dec. 1No school; staff development and work day
Dec. 24 through Jan. 2Winter break
Jan. 5Classes resume
Jan. 19Martin Luther King Day; no school
Jan. 26No school; staff development and work day
Feb 3 and 12Elementary conferences, 4:30 to 8 p.m.
Feb. 13Elementary conferences; no school JK through fifth grade
Feb. 16JK conferences; JK students have school
March 4 and 12Middle school conferences, 4:30 to 8 p.m.
March 5 and 11High school conferences, 4:30 to 8 p.m.
March 13No school; staff development and work day
April 3 through 10Spring break (April 3 is a conference compensation day)
May 22Snow make-up day
May 25Memorial Day; no school
June 12Last day of class for students

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