The purpose of this section is to answer any questions parents, teachers or community members might have regarding the school district and to set the record straight in regards to any rumors that might be circulating.
If you have a question or have heard a rumor that you would like for us to address, simply SEND US your questions and we will respond to them in upcoming issues of InFocus. Below are some of the questions we have received since our last issue.
Since no snow days were used this year, is there any chance the end of the year date will be changed to an earlier date, as in years past?
No. In the last few years, the State Department of Education has allowed some districts to move up the last day of school if the district did not use all of its snow days. The State has changed its practice and has told local school districts that they will no longer allow districts to do this. That means the last day of the 2016-17 school year for students will be a half-day on Tuesday, May 23, 2017, absent some unforeseen circumstance.
This evening it was brought to my attention that at the start of the 2018-2019 school year, Wades Grove students only will be rezoned from Allendale Elementary to Bethesda. Is this true? How will Bethesda be able to handle taking on effectively half of their current student population? How do we get more information about this?
The rezoning proposal presented to the Board at its March Work Session includes giving overcrowded Allendale Elementary substantial relief. Because of growth in that area over the past few years, the Allendale zone must become smaller. Part of the proposal includes Wade’s Grove being rezoned to Bethesda Elementary beginning in the Fall of 2018. This schedule coincides with the new elementary and middle school that are currently under construction near Clayton Arnold Road. That construction site is located in the western edge of what is currently Bethesda’s zone. Our number projections show that the proposed plan will keep Bethesda within its architectural capacity when the new schools open. The plan shown to the Board can be reviewed at https://www.wcs.edu/wp-content/pdf/Transportation/2018-WCS-Rezoning-Plan.pdf.
We have seen the new proposed rezoning maps. Can you tell us if siblings of students that are eligible for grandfathering can also attend the same school? We weren’t sure of what board policy was for siblings.
According to School Board Policy 1.703, rising fifth, eighth, eleventh and twelfth graders can generally “grandfather” in to their existing schools. If they do, younger siblings who are attending that school at the same time can also grandfather in to that same school. The theory behind this part of the policy is to ensure that no parent should be forced to have two children at two different schools that serve the same grades (two different high schools, etc.). The policy describes a number of rules related to this, including a deadline of May 15 to apply for the next year, behavior and attendance expectations, etc. When the time comes in the Spring of 2018, application forms and other information will be available on our website. The application form currently online is for 2017, the year before the rezoning proposal is scheduled to go into effect.
Is there a certain time that high school teachers are required to be at school before or after school to help students that might need assistance or to answer questions? Or are they literally only required to be there from start bell to end bell? How many sick days and personal days are teachers allowed during the school year?
By contract, teachers are only required to be at school a total of 30 minutes beyond the instructional day. This 30 minutes is split before and after school based upon each school’s needs. However, communication with the teacher and/or school administration can usually rectify any concerns about supports outside the instructional day. Teachers receive one sick day per month that carries over year to year and two personal days that convert to sick days if they are not used by the end of the fiscal year.