SIKESTON -- March proved to be a month of madness for the Sikeston Public Schools 2003-2004 Calendar Committee as the Board of Education sent them back to the drawing board at Tuesday's school board meeting.
Although commended by the board for their efforts, the Calendar Committee will have to come up with a new proposal after scheduling conflicts arose in the month of March next school year.
Calendar Committee Chairman Vicki Bullard said the committee first met in December with a survey they compiled asking for input and ideas from district staff and faculty. The committee met as a team again in January and compiled the results that were proposed to the board Tuesday.
The results indicated the majority preferred to have Easter Monday and Good Friday off, a full week for spring break and two weeks off for Christmas, Bullard noted. Two criteria the team considered when planning the calendar were choosing dates that fell within state guidelines, but yet remained educationally sound, and allowing for an optimum window of MAP testing in the spring, she explained.
Conflicts occurred after the committee proposed spring break to be March 15-19 next year. A couple of board members opposed that week because it was the same week as the state music contest.
"If we look at the week after March 15, then we're narrowing our testing window to four weeks instead of five, and we're not giving the students the optimum opportunity," Bullard explained.
Bullard cited parent/teacher conferences and incapability of fulfilling the 180-day school year requirement as reasons not to have spring break the week of March 8. And in order to take full advantage of the five-week MAP testing window and not disrupt the students' learning environment for preparation of the MAP, she explained the committee chose not to schedule spring break the week of March 22.
Other issues addressed at Tuesday's regular board meeting:
* The board accepted the retirement of Cliff Lankheit and the resignation of Brian Probst.
* Sally Koch was accepted as a new Spanish instructor for the 2003-2004 school year and the board voted to re-employ the teaching staff for 2003-2004 school year.
* Sikeston Motor Co. was awarded the bid for a new maintenance vehicle for the school district.
* In an effort to save money, Ponder Equipment was awarded the low bid to purchase two new school buses for the district.
* School will not be in session Feb. 17 in observance of President's Day.
* A snow make-up day will be April 21.
* An executive session (with closed minutes) was granted to discuss personnel matters.