The so-called "balanced calendar" may be a discussion for the future, but the weeklong fall break is here to stay, the Greencastle Schools superintendent said last week.
The Greencastle School Board approved the 2013-14 school calendar Wednesday, keeping the extended fall break piloted last month.
Superintendent Dr. Lori Richmond said there were mixed feelings going into the break this year, but that comments from the community and within the school were an estimated 98 percent in favor.
"People felt rejuvenated," Richmond said.
The 2013 fall break is set for the week of Oct. 21 to align with DePauw's fall break.
Richmond added that other area schools are considering the week break, which would make scheduling easier for Greencastle's Area 30 students.
Other features of the 2013-14 calendar include:
* Aug. 5: First teacher day
* Aug. 7: First student day
* Dec. 21-Jan. 5: Holiday break
* Jan. 6: Second semester begins
* March 22-30: Spring break
* May 23: Last student day
* May 30: Graduation
The calendar features 180 student days, 185 staff days and five built-in make-up snow days on Jan. 20, Feb. 17, April 18 and May 27 and 28.
Before looking to next year's calendar, the board also looked back at the school's accomplishments in the recent school performance grades released by the Indiana Department of Education.
In getting A ratings for Greencastle High School, Tzouanakis Intermediate, Deer Meadow Primary and Ridpath Primary, along with a C at Greencastle Middle School, Richmond estimated Greencastle had placed itself in the top 10 percent of schools in the state.
"This is the highest level our schools have been at," board president Mike Dean said. "I hope everyone realizes the impact this has on our community, not just the schools.
"Could everybody in this room and in the community thank a teacher?" Dean implored the audience.
Fellow board member Mike White added his praise at what the schools had accomplished in the face of a tough year in 2011-12.
"There have been so many problems we've encountered in the last year. The bottom line is, it still worked," White said. "Educating kids is why we're here. That's the bottom line."
In other business:
* The board approved Brennan Baker of Moisture Management as the project manager for the upcoming roofing projects at Tzouanakis and the high school.
Bids on the project will come in at a later date, but Baker will help the school oversee the project from the planning stages through completion.
* The school accepted a donation of $14,434.21 from the Deer Meadow PTO to Deer Meadow Primary.
The money will help pay for a sandbox cover, sand and playground equipment for the primary school, which has seen an increased need since adding a pre-school at the building.
* The board also approved 32 personnel items.
Maurice McKee retired as GHS engineering teacher and Carol Call retired as corporation database coordinator.
The board accepted the resignations of Jamie Hamock as GHS Spanish teacher, Tonya King as part-time GMS custodian and Lesley Neiner as Tzouanakis custodian.
Reuben Hinner was hired as substitute intro design teacher. Kaitlyn Hicks' maternity leave was extended through May 23, 2013. Russ Hesler will teach one class of construction.
Hirings included Joseph McPeak as GMS custodian and Cassidy Searles as principal's secretary at GHS. Ray June Turner was transferred from GHS guidance secretary to central office human resources director.
Teona Hubble was terminated as a bus driver.
Seven substitute teachers were hired: Michelle Thomas, Tonya Welker, Yvonne Jackson, Brandi Burgeson, Sarah Sears, Kristin Walsh and Cheyenne Maddox.
Fall sport head coaches Sam Hirt (boys' tennis), Garry Anderson (girls' cross country), Dave Lilly (boys' soccer), Josh Buis (football) and Art Dwiggins (boys' cross country) were approved to return in 2013.
Eight other coaching moves were approved: Ben Wells and Matt Welker as volunteer assistant baseball coaches; William Mobley and Thomas Downing as volunteer assistant wrestling coaches; Laura McMaster and Ivonne Martinez as girls' assistant track coaches; Dave Stephens as boys' assistant track coach; and Mark Lewis as volunteer assistant boys' basketball coach.