Greencastle isn't ready to jump into the balanced calendar for schools just yet. For now, Greencastle Community Schools might just be dipping in a toe to test the temperature.
On the recommendation of Superintendent Lori Richmond, the Greencastle School Board approved a traditional calendar for the 2012-13 school year at Wednesday's monthly meeting.
The most prominent change is a one-week fall break that will give students and teachers Oct. 13-21 off school. The week lines up with the DePauw University fall break, potentially benefiting families with ties to both the university and Greencastle Schools.
The break also falls right at midterm, with nine weeks before and nine weeks after.
Other important dates of the school year include Aug. 8 and Jan. 7 as the first student day of each semester and May 22 as the last day of school.
Other dates include Thanksgiving break from Nov. 21-25, winter break from Dec. 22-Jan. 6 and spring break from March 23-31.
Greencastle High School graduation will be Friday, May 31 in 2013, giving the corporation five potential make-up snow days between the planned end of school and graduation. Friday, March 22 and Friday, May 10 are also make-up snow days in 2013.
Radical changes were a potential outcome when school administrators gave three calendar options to the staff members and families of the corporation. Richmond said most stakeholders supported the traditional calendar with fall break as the only major change.
"Though we are not going to a full balanced calendar, it was beneficial for us to know in the future," she said.
A balanced calendar calls for an earlier start date and potentially later end date of the year. Each of the four grading periods is separated by at least a two-week break, or about six weeks in the case of summer vacation.
"This does seem to give the appearance that we are moving toward the balanced calendar," board member Kelly Lewis said.
The changes will be a bit of an issue for Area 30 students, as the career center does not have the same calendar. Richmond said there are six days in which Greencastle does not align with Area 30.
In recent years, this number has been approximately four days.
In other business:
* The board granted liability payment authorization to Chief Financial Officer Clay Slaughter. This is a routine matter that simply authorizes the payment of routine bills without prior board approval. The arrangement is simply to avoid late fees.
* A possible board retreat is being discussed for April. A retreat is a public meeting, sometimes called for more extended discussions. In this case, Bill Tobin is a brand new member, and Mike White has served for less than a year, so it could be a good time to familiarize them with some of the issues facing the corporation.
* The board approved a number of personnel items, including the hires of Jayme Barber as human resources director, Jessica Denney as special services secretary, Amanda Jellison as Tzouanakis noon aide, Blaine Hagan as substitute noon aide at Deer Meadow and Ian Cornell and Cynthia Gamble as substitute teachers and the resignation of Missy Wright as Tzouanakis noon aide.
Extracurricular hires included Steve Paquin as GHS boys' golf coach, Sally Martin as GHS girls' tennis coach, Shane Thomas as GHS and GMS assistant wrestling coach, Rhonda Gottschalk as GHS girls' basketball volunteer lay coach; and Brenda Beller as GHS girls' tennis lay coach.