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2151, 15 Apr 19

West Bend School Board Considers Extending School Year to Allow More Days Off

I heard some scuttlebutt on social media about the School Board meeting a couple of weeks ago where they discussed the proposed new school calendar, so I decided to watch the meeting. I do these things so that you can enjoy time with your families…

Here’s what went down… there is an ad hoc committee that forms every year to recommend the school calendar. They do it a bit in advance, so the one they are looking at now is for the 2020-2021 school year. The committee brought their recommendation to the school board and the school board was supposed to vote on the schedule.

What they recommended is that the school board extend the school year to June 9th so that the teachers can have a paid day off each month in addition to the already scheduled teacher work days and holidays. The committee said that there was a strong desire to have the extra day off each month so that they can be refreshed and at their best. Yes, that was actually the driving force behind the extra days off during the year.

Here’s the video of the exchange. They schedule stuff starts at minute 12:40.

Hats off to board member Nancy Justman for challenging the schedule and saying she would vote against it (as did Ken Schmidt). Justman correctly pointed out that the extra day off during the school year creates a hardship for families who have to arrange for child care. She also pointed out that in the private sector, bosses don’t just give the staff a paid day off every month for the heck of it. Finally, Justman wondered why there was only one parent representative on the committee – a great point. The superintendent and presenter confirmed that this was actually unusual… there wasn’t ANY parent representative the previous two years.

In the end, they tabled the vote for the schedule and gave the committee instructions to come back with two options – the current option and one that takes out the extra days off and ends the school year a week earlier. I believe they were presented those options tonight, but I didn’t make the meeting. We’ll see how it went shortly.

Again, kudos to Nancy Justman for ensuring that the voices of other stakeholders were heard before approving the schedule.


2151, 15 April 2019


  1. Mar

    I wish I was black teaching again. Weekends off, holidays off, Summers off and now a proposal to give an extra day off for no reason at all.
    The sad fact is most of teachers I have worked with over the years are a bunch of snowflakes, who never worked in the private sector. They go from high school, to college to the classroom. Of course, there are exceptions.

  2. guinness

    My wife was a teacher. The last thing the students and her wanted was going another week or two at the end of each school year. I wonder if any of the board members proposing this remembers feeling that way. The extra money for those days off would be better spent increasing the building maintenance budget.

  3. Mark Hoefert

    From what I can tell, the original calendar was brought forth by a committee consisting of a sampling of  teacher and administrative representatives.  One parent representative.  I think the additional days off were already part of the teacher contract days – the issue was where to place them: within the student’s attendance school year (which extends the year) or outside of the student’s school year (which makes for a shorter year).

    The Board asked for a revised calendar that does not extend the student year, choosing to not adopt the one that was recommended.

    A revised calendar was developed – both versions were submitted to the staff in a survey.  It seems like 57% of the teachers thought the revised one (shorter year for students) would be in the best interests of the students, 14% thought either version would serve the student’s well.  The Board adopted the revised one (shorter year for students).

    @  Guinness, so, you are right in your wife’s perception – sounds like she would have held the majority view.  But I want to clarify that the board did not propose the original calendar (longer year), and they did not adopt it.  I will have to watch last night’s meeting again, but it seems like they asked that next time calendars be developed about 5 years at a time, that more parent representatives be included, and that staff/families be surveyed.


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