The Clarkstown Board of Education approved the calendar for the 2013-2014 school year. The board approved the start and end dates for the next school year, early dismissal days and days off for holidays and recesses. Board member Wendy Adolff suggested the calendar show that the February 3 and March 14, 2014 Superintendent’s Conference Days could be used as snow makeup days. On Superintendent’s Conference Days, students have the day off but teachers typically have training sessions or special programs.
Adolff said it would avoid the confusion caused this year because of the lengthy school closing from Hurricane Sandy.
“So parents know what days we’re going to use instead of going back and forth like we did this year,” said Adolff.
The board agreed with her recommendation to make a notation to the calendar that if extra days are needed as Snow Makeup Days, the two 2014 Superintendent’s Conference Days would be used for that purpose. The calendar already had four snow makeup days built into it.
The board also discussed adding telecommunications courses at the high schools. Course catalogs at the district’s two high school differ. Board members talked about starting a pilot program to give students at each high school the opportunity to take a class offered at the other school.
District Director of Instructional Technology John Krouskoff said the group learning capacity is available and the district has the technical capability to offer telecommuting courses.
Superintendent Dr. J. Thomas Morton said David Jacob, the new coordinator of secondary education, is investigating the concept. Jacob, previously an assistant principal at Clarkstown North, said the idea was viable but he needed to discuss it with both principals.
Adolff asked about offering a pilot program for the fall and giving a survey to rising juniors and seniors to rate five classes in order of interest.
“I think it’s a great idea,” she said, adding it would expose the students to technology and telecommunications.
Board President Joe Malgieri said there were numerous considerations to be ironed out before the district could implement a program.
“How would we structure it? How many kids do we want to have? What are the unions going to say about this? Would we have a teacher in that room? Would we have a TA in that room?” he asked.
Adolff suggested a minimum of six students in order to offer the class in the second high school. She said a teaching assistant would be appropriate since there would be a teacher teaching the course.
“Whatever is offered at North should be offered at South,” she said.
“The opportunities for kids in both schools is fantastic,” said board member Robert Alan Carlucci.