Kutztown School Board unanimously eliminated half days for students starting next school year.
The school board approved the 2013-14 school district calendar on Feb. 20.
The board reviewed two drafts, one based on the current model of the calendar, and the other that eliminated half days.
“If we eliminate half days for us, we don’t have to provide transportation for non-public schools on their half days,” Superintendent Katherine Metrick said.
Metrick said that if a private school and a public school has a half day on their calendars, the public school has to provide transportation for the students of the private school. However, if the public school eliminates half days, then the district is no longer required to bus the non-public students that day.
According to the superintendent, eliminating half days will save about $5,000 during the school year.
Parent conferences became another concern as they are usually held on half days. The board came to the decision that conferences would occur on days off. They would ask teachers to stay later in the afternoon on staff development days to accommodate parents who work during the day.
Board member Amy Faust wondered if it would affect the vocational students at all.
Metrick said that it would be beneficial for the students and they would be able to catch up on the hours for their required labs.
The student representative to the board, Jordan Kemp, was curious to see how this would affect the finals in the high school and how students would get home.
The board noted that the seniors’ finals take place a few days before the rest of the high school’s so that their grade point average can be calculated for graduation. During their finals, seniors are expected to find their own way home when they leave early because it is a regular school day for everyone else.
Metrick said that at the student advisory meeting they came up with the idea of holding anti-bullying and acceptance assemblies during the rest of what used to be the half days for non-seniors after they take their finals. No definitive decision was made on what high school students will do after they take their finals.