The Mexico Board of Education was presented with a draft of the 2013-2014 school calendar that adds six minutes to the school day, offers a long Christmas break, shortens spring break, meets DESE requirements and won unanimous approval, with few concerns.
Board President Dr. Peter Perll opened the meeting with six board members present. Robby Miller was absent.
"We like the whole thing," board member Dr. Elwood Rice told school administrators. He also approved the administration's decision to lessen the district's number of professional development days and the idea to put six snow make-up days at the end of the school year, instead of forcing students to attend school on Martin Luther King Jr. holiday and President's Day.
Adding six minutes to the school day, District Superintendent Kevin Freeman told the board, generates 172 days of student attendance, six teacher professional development days, one music festival/professional day, and two parent teacher conferences. It also allows the district to generate enough hours to be "comfortably over 1,044 hours in case of an abundance of early cuts and late starts due to inclement weather (170 full days and two early dismissal days).
The new start time also will have elementary students attending school a total of 1,147.2 hours, middle school students 1,138.5 and high school students 1,127 – all of which meet Department of Elementary and Secondary Education requirements. Additionally, it addresses and eliminates any overlaps or delays in busing issues, Freeman noted.
In other news, the board also discussed the need for roof replacements and repairs needed at the high school and McMillan Elementary. The board approved the purchase of poly-urethane covering on both buildings until more permanent roofing can be purchased.
The Operations Department is researching a process to re-coat existing rooftops within the district. The process is a system often used with commercial properties. It uses materials to seal and creates reflective coatings in an attempt to extend the life expectancy of the existing roofs.
A number of experts have been consulted. The general opinion is that this relatively inexpensive material may be able to extend the lifespan by 10 years.
The regular meeting adjourned at 8:10 p.m. into executive session for personnel, real estate and student discipline purposes.