Knox School Board to Meet, Public Meetings Scheduled This Week for Balanced Calendar Discussion

The Knox Community School Board will meet tonight with a light agenda.

The board members will receive an update on the results of the NWEA test as well as a presentation on the Biomedical Science course addition at the high school.

The meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. CT in the administrative office in the Palmer Wing of the Knox Elementary School.

In addition, the Knox School Board and the North Judson-San Pierre School Boards will be holding public meetings this week to discuss the concept of a balanced calendar for the 2015-2016 school year.

The meeting for North Judson-San Pierre community members is Tuesday, March 4 at 7 p.m. CT and the meeting for Knox community members is Thursday, March 6 at 6 p.m. CT in the high school cafeteria.

Superintendent A.J. Gappa explained the concept of a balanced calendar.

“A balanced calendar starts usually at the beginning of August, or somewhere close to that, and you usually have two weeks or a week-and-a-half off in the fall that allows some time for a break for students and staff. It also allows for some remediation. You might have an intersession where kids who are a little bit behind can get remediated right away rather than falling farther behind. You also have a two week break in the spring where one week might be just a regular spring break and the second week might be an intersession with remediation possibilities to try to allow the kids who are slightly behind a chance to catch up.”

The balanced calendar concept is not to be confused with a “year-round” calendar.

North Judson-San Pierre Superintendent Lynn Johnson said a summer break would be included, but it wouldn’t be as long.

“The major benefit is that we don’t have that large learning gap over the summer break. We’re no longer an agrarian society; kids don’t need to be available to work on the family farm. It’s a model that was established 150 years ago and it’s just no longer relevant. So the balanced calendar is not a year-round calendar; it’s still 180 days, it’s just broken up differently,” Johnson said.

Public comment will be taken at these meetings and all comments will be taken under advisement.