By Daniel E. McGonigle
The Caledonia Argus
A group of about 20 parents, teachers, community members, administration and school board members, met for the final time regarding the school calendar.
A series of informational meetings have been held and much of the same concerns raised during those meetings, remained the same during this the final meeting in the series.
“After discussions, there is not support for a 45-15 or 45-10 model,” said superintendent Craig Ihrke. “So we looked at two options, option A and option B.”
The superintendent informed the crowd of the results of a survey regarding the two choices, amongst a group of stakeholders.
Option A would be a traditional calendar similar to what we have become accustomed to.
Option B would start in August, provide some breaks for students, most notably in the middle of March and would end one week earlier than the traditional schedule.
Students: 179 votes, 97 for option A, 82 for option B.
Students were grades 6 through 11.
“I’m not sure they understood what it meant because some of the feedback was they didn’t want a 45-15 option,” said Ihrke.
Parents: 138 parents took the survey. Option A had 58 parents vote in support and Option B had 80 or 42 and 58% respectively.
Staff: 121 staff members took the survey. 83 were in favor of option B and 38 supported Option A.
Ihrke spelled out his pros/cons list for the two options.
One of the biggest things to consider is that Labor Day is late in 2020, “about as late as you can get,” said Ihrke. “It is on September 7 so we’d start September 8.”
The other items on the pros/cons list were sports schedules, especially as it relates to state competition for basketball, the state fair and Houston County Fair, among others.
“You won’t be able to check every box, you’re going to be able to poke holes in anything we come up with,” said community member Jim Hoscheit. “I think we’ve done the best we can.”
Principal Nathan Boler added “it really comes down to preference. Some people like to have time to go to their lake cabins, others don’t want the hot days. It really comes down to peference.”
“I’m really not hearing much about education,” said Casey Eglinton. “All we’re talking about is high school basketball and the fair. No one’s mentioned the educational benefits.”
“Yeah, I agree,” said Ihrke. “We’ve been using plan A forever, so if we find plan B isn’t what we thought it would be it’s not like it’s written in stone. I just think we’re better off we excuse students for going to state in other things, so I think we can approach the state fair in the same way.”