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Q&A Session Addresses Extracurriculars and Childcare Concerns With Modified Schedule

Daniel Prince

Only two who aren't district employees or media attend the meeting

Superintendent Joey Haney and Director of Administration Eric Childers hosted a question-and-answer session on the proposed modified schedule Thursday afternoon in the Union County High School cafeteria. Turnout was disappointing, as only two people who were not employees of the school district attended. WBCU News was also on hand, as Haney and Childers presented the schedule and discussed its impact in a few areas of concern.

On the proposed schedule, teachers would have six staff development days prior to school starting, running from July 24-28 and July 31. Students would begin on Tuesday, August 1. A staff development day would be held on Friday, September 22, and the fall intersession period would begin October 4-6 with the remediation and enrichment days, and a full week off after that, from October 9-13. Thanksgiving break would be November 22-24. Christmas break would be December 18-January 1. Remediation and enrichment would be scheduled from January 2-4, with a staff development day on January 5. The rest of the students would return to school on Monday, January 8. A professional development day is scheduled for Friday, March 8. Spring remediation and enrichment days would be March 20-22, with a week off after that from March 25-29. Easter falls on March 31 in 2024. The last day of school would be Friday, May 31, for students, with the final staff development day scheduled for Monday, June 3. Students would continue to be off for Labor Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and Memorial Day.

Superintendent Joey Haney explained that the proposed schedule’s impact on sports and other extracurricular activities would be minimal. He said other school districts on a modified schedule try to schedule their football team’s bye week for the fall intersession period. He said it could be beneficial for teams, as practice could be held earlier in the day for football, band, and others, and allow those students to not have to stay at school as long those days. He said the winter sports teams already are practicing and sometimes playing during winter break, and spring sports teams do the same for spring break, so the overall impact would not be too great.

Childcare was another stated area of concern. Haney and Childers acknowledged that there are not many options for childcare available in Union County, regardless of the time of year. The hope is that some entity or entities step up and provide some childcare options during those times, as potentially there is money to be made. They said having the flexibility to move some of the district’s existing summer camps into the remediation and enrichment days could also help with the childcare situation, giving kids something to do for 3 of the days each break. Participation in those camps and activities could increase, given that only about 1/3 of students invited to attend some of the summer programs end up attending. Teachers would be able to utilize part of the planned staff development days scheduled a couple of weeks prior to the fall and spring breaks to identify students to be targeted for remediation. Criteria for that would include the student’s MAP scores, interim report grades, reading level, and teacher recommendation.

After the session, WBCU News spoke with the two parents who attended, Steve and Sally Woolsey. They shared their thoughts on the proposed modified schedule:

(audio below story)

Steve and Sally Woolsey on the proposed schedule
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