Monroe Middle will return to traditional schedule

Feb. 08, 2013 @ 07:37 PM

After about a year of discussion by the Monroe Middle School site-based management team, the Union County Public School Board of Education voted Tuesday night to return Monroe Middle School to a traditional calendar for the 2013-2014 school year. 

The decision came after months of asking teachers, students, parents and community stakeholders what they thought of the idea. 

Out of the 105 teachers and staff members who voted on the decision, 74 voted in favor of a traditional calendar and 31 voted for a year-round calendar. 

The school also polled sixth and seventh grade parents or guardians. They had to come to the school to vote. The site-based management team decided that they needed a 75 percent response rate to validate the vote and that of the 75 percents, 66 percent had to be in favor to move forward. 

Of the 606 families eligible to vote, 464, or 76.5 percent, voted. Of those, 309, 67 percent, voted for a traditional calendar and 155, 33 percent, voted for a year-round calendar. 

When asked, students understood the challenges of year-round school, but said they would miss their extended breaks during the Holiday season, according to documents submitted by the school board. The students were curious about what a full summer break would be like. 

Monroe Middle School was the only school in the district to operate on a year-round calendar. 

Some of the problems the calendar presented were accessing teachers with regards to implementing the new Common Core curriculum, professional development days not aligning with teachers in traditional-calendar schools, time to make improvements or complete projects on the school and timing issues with students who transfer, among other issues. 

Another issue cited was teacher recruitment. Teachers with children in a traditional-calendar school were hesitant to work for a year-round school. 

The calendar will take effect for the 2013-2014 school year.