Wednesday July 3, 2013

ZEKE WRIGHT

Staff Writer

ARLINGTON -- Students probably weren’t bemoaning a scheduling mistake in Arlington that caused the recent school calendar to be two days short.

But the total number of hours that students were in school still exceeded requirements, prompting the State Board of Education to approve a waiver at its June meeting.

In a letter to Education Secretary Armando Vilaseca, Battenkill Valley Supervisory Union Superintendent Karen Gallese wrote that the 2012-13 school calendar had already been completed and approved by the school board before she arrived to the position last July.

A week before the scheduled end of the school year, Gallese said it was brought to her attention that the calendar was short two days of the requisite 175 under state requirements.

"End of the year notices had already been sent to parents, final exam schedules had been set, and a mentoring training for teachers had been arranged for the following week. At that point I felt it would be extremely disruptive to change the end date of the school year," Gallese wrote in the June 20 letter.

A review of instructional hours by Gallese and Vilaseca found students were still provided plenty of time in the classroom over the course of the school year, however.

While the state requires 962.5 hours of instruction time in a school year, students in the Arlington School District received a total 1,036 hours.

The school day ran from 8 a.m. to 2:40 p.m. and the number of instructional hours doesn’t include lunch or recess and factors in half days of school.

Gallese wrote that the issue won’t happen again.

The secretary’s office recommended approval of the request, and the state board followed along that recommendation at its June 25 meeting as part of its consent agenda.

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