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Williamstown adopts 2010-2011 calendar

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By Bryan Marshall

With more than two months left until summer break, Williamstown Independent Schools is looking ahead to next year.

The school board approved the 2010-11 draft calendar during its March 8 meeting.

The first day of school will be Aug. 12 while, barring any missed days, the last day for students will be May 19, 2011.

“We’re traditional folks here and we go with a traditional calendar,” said Williamstown Elementary Principal David Poer, who also serves as district director of pupil personnel and head of the calendar committee. “This really doesn’t look very different from the past few years.”

One change, however, is a calendar based on 175 instructional days instead of 177 in anticipation of the General Assembly eliminating two school days to help balance the state budget.

The House passed the measure recently and the bill will soon be voted on by the Senate.

“Based on the money the legislators are going to be able to save, I think they’re going to do it,” Poer said. “I don’t like them taking those days. When you compare us to the surrounding states, Indiana has 185 days of instruction. West Virginia has 180. All things equal, if they have more time than we got, they should be better. So we really have to look at that as a state.”

“Not everybody is going to understand, as educators do, the importance of having some more days,” he said.

The district also has several days off worked into the schedule throughout the school year.

Fall break is set for Oct. 11-12, which falls on a Monday and Tuesday.

“In the past, we’ve done a Thursday and Friday,” Poer said. “But, because how the first nine weeks ended, we felt like it would be nice to end the first nine weeks and then have the break.”

Thanksgiving break will be Nov. 24-26, and students will get two weeks off for Christmas break from Dec. 21- Dec. 31.

Classes also will not be in session Feb. 21-22, however they are designated as possible make-up days.

“That’s around President’s Day,” Poer said. “If we get into some snow again like in December or the first of January, that’s an option to take those days as make up.”

Williamstown’s spring break will be aligned with Grant County Schools from March 28- April 1, 2011.

Poer said the schedule will have have four to six early release days as well, but the exact days have not been determined.