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Board of Education Addresses Full Slate

The Ledyard Board of Education reduced the February vacation, heard the costs of all-day kindergarten and moving the sixth graders and congratulated Class M champs.


Tonight the Ledyard Board of Education voted to make up for two more school days that were lost when Hurricane Sandy came ashore last month. The school board added Feb. 19 and March 28, back onto the school calendar.

Tuesday, Feb. 19th was put back on the school calendar after originally being designated the last day of the February break. The vacation was reduced from a four-day to a three-day vacation from Saturday, Feb. 16 through Monday, Feb. 18.

Thursday, March 28th was scheduled as a teacher development day is now a regular school day and teachers will be working on professional development on Dr. Martin Luther King Day, Jan. 21, which was originally a day off for students and parents.

The changes were needed to make up for the five days lost when schools closed from Oct. 29 through Nov. 2 after Hurricane Sandy downed trees and made the roads impassable for busses. One day of school was already made up on Election Day and if the school system loses more than two days this year to snow or other emergency's those days will be added to the end of the year and push back the last day of school.

The last day of school is currently scheduled for June 14 and graduation is still scheduled for June 22, although board members urge parents to hold off on making travel reservations until April when the board will officially declare the date of graduation.

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An ad hoc committee to study the district reorganization presented some findings during the education board meeting Tuesday.

“The good news is that the kindergarteners can be accommodated with existing bus routes,” said board member Stephanie Calhoun, speaking on behalf of the ad hoc committee.

She said implementation will require less than $75,000 to be added to the budget. That amount includes the additional 4.5 teachers and support staff required.

Calhoun said the committee will recommend that the school board implement all-day kindergarten for the 2013-2014 and they will vote on Dec. 5.

With regard to moving the sixth graders, she said “It’s fantastic but there are a lot of details.”

Details regarding transportation, scheduling and staffing are still a work in progress.

Calhoun said the sixth graders will follow middle school schedule that way they can be added to the bus routs with the seventh and eighth graders.

“There’s no need to add additional busses to the route,” she said. “Maybe just one extra late bus.”

The committee estimated that moving the sixth graders to the Juliet W. Long school would cost an additional $10,000 for an extra late bus (if necessary) and less than $30,000 for teachers and support staff.

The committee will meet again through December and there will be a formal presentation on Jan. 2. The school board will vote on Jan. 16.

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Also, Athletic Director Jim Buonocore bestowed recognition upon the school’s newest ECC state champions. The LHS Girls Volleyball team won the school's first ever Class M championship in volleyball, finishing with a 19-5 record after defeating top seeded Woodland Regional from Beacon Falls.

And, on Nov. 17 in New Haven, Ledyard senior Jessica Hespeler won two events at the State Open swim meet by defending her 200 free title while also picking up the 100 free title.

Buonocore said he was proud of all the students and that they exhibited outstanding character, sportsmanship and leadership.

The Board of Education usually meets on the first and third Wednesday of every month at 7 p.m. in the High School Library. People may also review meetings and agendas online if they follow links found on the board's website.

David Moorehead November 29, 2012 at 03:31 PM
Very good job by the School Board on the planning for all day Kindergarten and moving the 6th graders to the Middle School. The projected increased costs are surprisingly low and well worth the educational benefits they will enable.
Mike Cherry November 29, 2012 at 04:51 PM
I agree with Dave! The cost delta is low but may require a little more explanation on all day K costs..... 4.5 teachers + staff = $75k increase ? Great Job by committee and Board - keep the info flowing!
Stephanie Calhoun November 29, 2012 at 06:20 PM
Please join us for a formal presenation about all day Kindergarten at the regularly scheduled BOE meeting on December 5th at 7pm in the Ledyard High School Media Center. There will be a full explanation of costs we will incur and some costs savings we will realize by going to a full day program.
The Dr. K November 29, 2012 at 09:31 PM
Also the Ledyard Colonels Freshman Football went 10-0 for a great undefeated season!
Mike Cherry November 29, 2012 at 10:01 PM
See you on the 5th Thanks Stephanie!
gardengal November 29, 2012 at 11:22 PM
Thank you for all of the work on behalf of all day K. It's about time! My children, now ages 26 and 28, had all day K in North Carolina. CT is behind in this by a mile. In Ledyard, many students do not have the advantage of good private pre-K. With the new standards, all day K is a must! This move will save $$$, as remedial service costs will go down!

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