Williamston School Board discusses possible change to academic calendar

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The school board met at the Williamston Elementary School instead of it’s usual location at the middle school. Photo by Eli Atzenhoffer

Could Williamston Community Schools be heading to a shorter summer break? Pump the breaks said Superintendent Adam Spina.

“What we’re looking at discussing,” he said. “We are looking at a very reasonable way to chip a couple days maybe a week of summer break.”

The goal of the district’s change would not be to get rid of that week of summer but spread it throughout the rest of the school year giving breaks to staff and students.

“There’s not a time to hit pause,” he said. “Can you build in more time off during periods of the school year that are extended and don’t have a chance to kind of catch your breath?”

Spina emphasized that this possibility is in very early stages and there are many different steps that have to be taken to move forward.

“We’re baby stepping this,” he said. “We’re looking at a calendar that’s maybe two years out if this were even going to be implemented.”

In the event that this idea starts to take shape, Spina will make sure that the district is transparent and gets the input of the community.

“There’s always issues that you don’t think about or are aware of,” he said. “Having parents, teachers, administrators and board members . . . we can kind of identify obstacles we might not have considered.”

School Busing

Also discussed during the meeting were financial topics including the topic of bussing throughout the district.

Board treasurer Sarah Belanger brought to discussion the option of buying new school buses for the district or continuing to lease buses.

Currently the Williamston bus fleet has some buses that are bought and some being leased.

Belanger said that the decision to buy or lease buses will not have any effect on any current bussing operations  

“All of our students are bussed to school and athletics,” she said. “We don’t have any students that are not being transported.”

Take a seat

A final order of business at the meeting was about the open vacancy on the school board.

While the Williamston City Council filled their final open seat last week, the Williamston Board of Education is looking to fill their seventh and final seat. 

The vacancy was left open after the resignation of Karen Potter on Oct. 31.

The board received nine applications for the open seat with one withdrawal within the recent days.

Board president Scott Gaffner said the board is looking for someone that is well rounded and does not have a separate agenda from the board’s goals.

“Somebody that wants to use their skills, talents and experience to help us make sure we are carrying out all of our board goals to the best we can to create the best educational environment for the kids in Williamston.”

The board will welcome the applicants to interview in a public meeting on Nov. 11.