PARIS — The majority of School Administrative District 17 directors agreed Monday night to extend the school day by one hour from April 24 to May 26, if there is another snow day.

The district has used 10 so far, bringing the last day of school to June 23.

The authorization to change the school calendar came after directors suggested alternatives that ranged from canceling April vacation to having elementary school students go an hour early and extending high/middle school classes an hour.

The vote to extend the school day, if necessary, came with some concerns by directors.

“This alters peoples’ lives too much,” Director Michael Marshall of Norway said.

Feedback from those in his town suggests that they would like to see fewer professional days to make up the difference, he said.

Administrators, with the support of many of the directors, said professional development time is too valuable to give up, considering the progress that has been made to support educational success in the district.

The board also approved the 2017-18 school calendar, which makes the last day of school June 8, 2018.

June 15, 2018, would be the last day if there are five snow days; June 22, 2018, if there are 10 snow days. The last day of school in 2018 will be half a day for students.

Directors also heard a presentation by Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School Principal Ted Moccia and Director of Applied Learning Pat Carson on freshmen successfully earning the required credits to become sophomores. The success rate is 77 percent, they said, and the goal is 90 percent.

Moccia and Carson said the transition from middle school to high school is a very difficult time for some students, and efforts are underway to identify students who are not meeting the required number of credits.

A number of steps have been put in place, including student “triage,” which identifies struggling students and establishes a teacher/student relationship to help bring success, and a tutorial program.

Absenteeism and tardiness plus literacy problems are the most prominent indicators of struggling students, Moccia and Carson said. Students with these issues can be identified as early as elementary school.

In other action, directors:

• Heard a presentation from Technology Director Mike Dunn on the district’s recommendation for grades nine to 12 one-to-one laptop program;

• Approved a bid of $347,475 from CTL Inc. for one-to-one replacement of student laptops with Chromebooks;

• Approved an updated District Capital Improvement Plan; and

• Approved Charles Yancy as science teacher at the Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School.

Oxford Hills School District Superintendent Rick Colpitts presented information on snow days at the March 6 board of directors meeting in Paris.

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