Digital Access

Digital Access
Access newtondailynews.com from all your digital devices and receive breaking news and updates from around the area.

Home Delivery

Home Delivery
News, sports, local and regional entertainment and more!

Text Alerts

Text Alerts
Choose your news! Select the text alerts you want to receive: breaking news, prep sports scores, school closings, weather, and more.

Email Newsletters

Email Newsletters
We'll deliver news & updates to your inbox. Sign up for free e-newsletters today.
Jasper County Tribune

Later start date effects discussed by Baxter School Board

With the start of the school year pushed one week from Aug. 24 to Aug. 31, the work days teachers were expecting prior to school starting were also effected. The Baxter School Board discussed how to address those seven days during its regular August meeting.

“We have the time built in so we (the students) wouldn’t have to make up those days, but that is up to you guys if you want them made up,” superintendent Mickolyn Clapper said. “Also, the staff will have to make those up.”

Because of the damage caused by the Derecho storm which caused the town of Baxter to be without power for several days and some areas beyond a week without substantial power, teachers and staff were unable to work in the building preparing for the upcoming school year. Under contract, the teachers are slated to work 189 throughout the year. With seven days taken away because of the aftermath of the storm, the board has to figure out what to do next.

“Those days they would normally have been teaching kids whereas this week would have normally been working on personal development and they are not here. We just pushed everything back. We didn’t cut their contract from 189 to 184,” Clapper said. “They were very gracious with us this year the way we were flexible. I don’t know if there is something we could do over the summer next year, training, but seven days in a long time.”

With a lot of uncertainty in how the school year will go due to COVID-19 concerns, it was discussed to have a wait-and-see approach to rescheduling the days.

“I just think it is something that I would probably discuss later. We have no idea how this is going to go, we don’t know what the future holds for us,” secondary principal Rob Luther said.“We are starting out five days behind now but I’d like us to get going, get into the building and know what we are doing before we talk about adding days at the end of the year when who knows what is going to happen in February.”

Elementary principal Jason Aker agreed with Luther and thought they should see what the unpredictable year ahead of them brings.

“If we don’t make the kids make up those five days that means the year went awesome and we are in great shape and we can absolutely find some personal development at the end of the year to catch back up,” Aker said. “We’re so far behind, everybody is, back to anything we were talking. Right now we are trying to survive and all of those initiative were put on hold. If we extend the kids days then they are fine anyway. I wouldn’t touch it.”

The board also discussed how the days and time are stated in board policy and if the section should be looked at to better reflect how the instruction time is recorded.

Contact Jamee A. Pierson at 641-792-3121 ext. 6534 or jpierson@newtondailynews.com

Loading more