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Feb 14, 2014 11:42 AM by Dave Fields

St. Mary Parish School Board approves new school calendar

St. Mary Parish School Board (SMSB) approved a new school calendar for the 2013-14 school year that allows elementary students' schedules to remain unchanged, but adds an extra school day for junior high and high school students.

The extra instructional day for junior high and high school students previously was to be a teacher inservice day on March 21.

Based on a recommendation by Asst. Supt. Keith Thibodeaux, the three winter closure days in January (Jan. 24, 28, and 29) will not warrant holding make-up days to compensate for the missed class time. According to a release Friday, SMSB says that its "elementary students will still exceed the minimum instructional minutes this year" because of banked minutes previously scheduled into the regular school days this school year.

Despite the fact that St. Mary Parish junior and high schools also had banked minutes,the board says it recommended that a teacher inservice day on March 21 become a "student contact day to ensure adequate instructional time prior to end of the year testing."

The instructional staff and curriculum administration considered both the possibilities of adding minutes to the school day and adding days to the end of the school year, but advised against these ideas.

"The recommended modification on the junior high and high school levels ensures that all St. Mary students will exceed the state's minimum mandated instructional minutes," Thibodeaux said.

Thibodeaux said that elementary school plans for March 21 have not changed.

"Therefore, Friday, March 21 will remain a parent teacher conference day for elementary schools only and become an instructional day for all junior high and high school students," he added.

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