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Shelby County School Board: Proposal puts last day on May 30

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Graduation would be May 31, teachers’ last day June 6

By Todd Martin

Shelby County Public Schools is moving forward with planning for its last day of school instead of waiting on the Kentucky General Assembly to make a decision.

The board of education Thursday will hear a recommendation to end school on May 30, a week before the projected end of the year.

With the snow days added to the end of the year, it had appeared that the district would finish the school year on June 6.

The meeting will be at Simpsonville Elementary School, 6725 Shelbyville Road in Simpsonville.

But removing those days won’t leave Shelby County Public Schools short on instructional time.

“Basically, current legislation stipulates that you have to have a minimum of one hundred and seventy school days where you provide a minimum of one thousand and sixty-two hours,” said Ryan Allan, the district’s public relations coordinator. “Even with our recommendation to change the final day to the thirtieth, we will meet those requirements, regardless of what the legislation decides.”

With the changes, the district would meet the minimum of 170 school days and would still surpass the instruction time with 1,072 hours.

Because the harsh winter has caused some districts to miss three weeks of instructional time, the General Assembly has been looking into providing relief to those districts so they are not in school late into June.

But, as of Tuesday afternoon, no agreement had been made. However, legislation proposed by both the House and the Senate was focused on ending school sometime in mid-June at the latest, so Shelby County would not have been aided by either the plan.

Allan said the most important thing was finding the right time for the end of the year state K-PREP assessments.

“The key piece for the district was finding an uninterrupted week for the state accountability tests,” he said. “We wanted a full week where we weren’t going to miss time for the election or Memorial Day or anything else. Now we have that on May 12.”

Superintendent James Neihof decided present the plan to the board now instead of waiting to see if the legislature’s changes would affect Shelby County, Allan said, because teachers need to prepare.

“We want to get a decision made now so teachers can plan accordingly for our state testing time,” he said.

The board will have to vote on the recommendation before it is official.

Under this plan, the last day for teachers will be June 6, and Allan said the district would be able to use that extra time for professional development.

“Since teachers are contracted for a set number of days, they will be available for professional development,” he said.

Allan added that if this plan were approved, graduation would be May 31.

“Graduation will be the first Saturday after the last day of school, no matter what day that is,” he said.

Also at the meeting, the board will:

  • Hear a presentation from host school Simpsonville Elementary.
  • Recognize the Collins High School culinary arts program.
  • Hear updates on the Northside Early Childhood Center and Southside Elementary School.
  • Consider approval of a recommendation from the Local Planning Committee on the 2014 District Facility Plan.
  • Consider approval of budget amendments.
  • Consider awarding a contract for school portraits for the 2014-15 school year.
  • Consider renewing contracts for yearbooks for 2014-15.