DIXFIELD – SAD 21 students will get to sleep a little later Wednesday mornings next year as a result of action taken by the school board Monday night.
The board adopted a calendar for the coming school year that is different than any other in the region.
In fact, said Superintendent Tom Ward, “A number of neighboring school districts will be watching us.”
Instead of early release days for staff development that have been held several afternoons each year, students will come to class an hour later than usual every Wednesday from September through the end of the school year in June.
“One of the big problems across the state is finding common planning time. This would be much better than early release days,” said Ward.
Under the adopted calendar, teachers will be required to be at school by 7:30 a.m., rather than the usual 7:45 a.m. Correspondingly, teachers will be allowed to leave 15 minutes earlier in the afternoon, at 2:15 p.m. rather than 2:30 p.m.
Classes for students at Dirigo High School will begin at 9 a.m. Students at Dirigo Middle School and the elementary schools will start slightly later.
Among other components to the calendar are six teacher workshop days, including evening teacher conferences, scheduled for August, October, November and March.
Classes are set to start on Aug. 30 for students, and end on June 8.
In other matters on Monday, the board approved use of two school buses for Project Graduation.
Class President Ben Van Lieu said the 77 students in the graduating class are planning a white-water rafting trip down the Kennebec River with a business in Caratunk after the June 9 graduation. Ten chaperons will be required to accompany the students.
The board also tabled action on a policy governing the academic requirements needed for student participation in extra-curricular and co-curricular activities.