Hamilton Southeastern school board approves superintendent’s calendar plan

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File photo of Hamilton Southeastern High School

FISHERS, Ind. –The Hamilton Southeastern school board has come to a decision regarding the upcoming school year’s calendar.

Board members voted 6-1 to approve a 2018-2019 calendar originally proposed by Dr. Allen Bourff, the school corporation’s superintendent. Under the calendar, students will have one week of fall break, three days at Thanksgiving, one week of spring break and school will start on Wednesday, Aug. 8.

Earlier this fall, the school corporation published a survey asking parents and other community members about when they would like the district to start the school year and how long certain breaks should be. Hamilton Southeastern Education Association President Janet Chandler said the teachers were also given a similar survey and their results were congruent with the general survey.

“75 percent of the teachers indicated they did not want a week off at Thanksgiving,” said Chandler. “95 percent of the teachers indicated that they wanted a start date for students on a Wednesday to allow kids to be acclimated to school, especially the younger ones.”

Earlier this month, the school board took up the school calendar debate at its meeting. The superintendent presented his plan that reflected the majority’s wishes in the survey, Chandler said.

However, the school board decided to amend the superintendent’s recommended calendar to give students an entire week off at Thanksgiving and have kids come back to school two days earlier, on a Monday.

“It was sort of a surreal meeting. I was surprised by the result,” Chandler said.

The district posted the school board’s decision for the new school calendar on Facebook following the vote and the post got hundreds of shares and comments.

“I was just upset that our voices were not heard because that doesn’t feel like Fishers to me,” HSE parent Tiffany Strauss said. “Everybody has valid points, everybody deserves to be heard so all they can do is to try and please the majority, which the poll led us to believe is what they were going to try and do, but they didn’t so I think for me that’s my biggest problem I have with it.”

In the end, the school board reverted back to the superintendent’s original plan after hearing comments from dozens of concerned community members at a special meeting Wednesday night.

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