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Greendale Eliminates Most Half Days for Students in 2012-13

The elimination of collective bargaining allows the school district to restructure 2012-13 school calendar without any negotiation restrictions.

The elimination of collective bargaining allowed the Greendale School District to restructure the 2012-13 school calendar without negotiating with the teachers' union. 

The Greendale School District Board of Education unanimously approved modifications to a new 2012-13 school calendar on Feb. 20 that will most eliminate school half days to make it more family-friendly. 

“We were given the opportunity to review and reorganize our school calendar to meet the needs of our students, families and staff,” said Greendale Superintendent of Schools Dr. William Hughes in a release.  “We harvested input from faculty at every school and feedback from parents through Partners for Community Action to create a calendar that has value for everyone.”

According to a memo to the school board, the calendar has always been a controversial issue and has been a mandatory subject of collective bargaining. But when Act 10 passed, the calendar was no longer an item districts needed to negotiate with the union. 

The new calendar increases the days teachers are required to come to work by four days, about a 2% percent increase.

The updated calendar eliminates all but one student half days; the exception is the last day of school on June 14, 2013. The calendar also connects all student days off to a weekend, making scheduling and arranging childcare easier for parents. 

Director of Assessment and Learning Kim Amidzich, Director of Human Resources Julie Grotophorst and Principal of College Park Elementary Kerry Owens‐Bur organized a small team of innovative faculty to consider the structure of the school calendar for 2012‐2013. 

According to the memo the goal of the team was to think about the best vehicle to deliver instruction and professional development that respects families' needs. 

The new calendar tries to meet families' needs and help professional development by:

  • Increasing time and frequency of on-site professional development for all faculty, providing nine days throughout the year.
  • Eliminating all half days (with the exception of the last day of school).
  • Creating data review times four times each year for teachers to collectively evaluate student achievement data.
  • Providing four specific dates for parent–teacher contact and an opportunity to rethink the arena-style conferencing. 
  • Meeting state requirements for instructional time. 
  • Complying with the Sept. 1 requirement for school start times.

The memo about the calendar states: "As a whole, both faculty and parents supported the newly proposed calendar. Both parents and faculty appreciated the elimination of half days and that all days off for students connected to the weekend."

CowDung February 21, 2012 at 10:36 PM
It looks like another positive outcome from Walker's changes to collective bargaining...
MacyFray February 22, 2012 at 12:25 PM
As a parent, this calendar is so much more family friendly. Also it gives the district the opportunity to publish the calendar perhaps a couple years at a time to give families time to plan vacations, etc. Before you wouldn't get a calendar for the next school year until May or so of the prior year which was only a few months before the next school year started. It really didn't work well. This is a positive outcome of Gov. Walker's changes. Those half days were worthless to the students and families and had been a point of contention for many years. Thanks for the positive change!
J. B. Schmidt February 22, 2012 at 03:18 PM
I agree, this calender is much more simple. I can also appreciate that this is for the school district rather then each school having slightly different days off or half days. With 3 kids in the Greendale school district next year I won't have to guess whether the half day was for Highland view and the full day for the Middle School or vice versa; as will happen this Friday.
A Greendale Parent April 02, 2012 at 01:28 AM
The only part of this new calendar I don't like is the fact that the school year ends on June 14th. That seems very late into the month of June. I would of rather not had certain days off during the school year so that the kids could of gotten out of school earlier.

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