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Ashford mulls tweaks to school development days

By CLAIRE GALVIN

Chronicle Staff Writer

ASHFORD — Local school officials are currently weighing changes to the academic calendar that would move professional development days to the beginning of the school year.

The K-8 Ashford School, the town’s lone school, is discussing the rearrangement of professional development days.

The Ashford Board of Education discussed changing the school year calendar for the upcoming 2018-19 school year at a board meeting Feb 1.

The board discussed moving three professional development days from within the school year to late August, before students begin school.

On professional development days, teachers and staff work on curriculum and other items while students do not attend school.

“It will add to the continuity of the school year,” Superintendent James Longo said.

Longo said the change will also allow professional development to be more intense and have a better follow-through.

With the proposed changes, school would end on June 6 in 2019, as opposed to June 13 in 2018.

Because of winter weather, however, the last day for Ashford Schools is scheduled for June 21.

The board agreed there are advantages and disadvantages to making this change, like the reduction of four-day weekends, which some have complained about, and more professional development before school begins, but less during the year.

Ashford school board Chairman John Lippert said, for teachers, three work days would move from the middle of the school year to the beginning. For students, three no-class days would move from the middle of the year to the end.

The teachers union will discuss the changes in the next week before the board of education votes during its next meeting Thursday.

Longo said this change would be a sort of pilot program and other school districts are looking to Ashford to make further decisions about their yearly calendars.

 

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