Springfield Board of Education — seated, from left: Chairman Jeff Kretsch, Treasurer Megan Quesenberry, Clerk Mandy Rasset and Superintendent Keith Kottke.  Back: Eric Schwarzrock, Ramsey Beyer, Mike Vogel and Justin Roiger.

School Board chooses flexible learning year

The Springfield Board of Education, during their January 14 meeting, voted unanimously to make application to the Minnesota Department of Education to continue the flexible learning year on its academic calendar.

The flexible learning year (FLY) concept was established by the Minnesota Department of Education, and its requirements are established in Minnesota Statute 124 that authorizes districts to evaluate, plan and employ the use of flexible learning year programs. The type of flexible learning year operation is selected from a variety of alternatives that allow each district seeking to utilize this concept to suitably fulfill the educational needs of its pupils.

Under that statute a flexible learning year program must be designed to accomplish at least one of the following: •Improving instructional quality, •Increasing cost-effectiveness, •Making better use of community resources or available technology, •Establishing an alternative eligibility criteria intended to identify pupils in need of special education services. 

The FLY schedule, that allows the local school district to begin its school year 10 days prior to the Labor Day mandated start date, has been in place in Springfield for the past nine academic years having been approved by the Minnesota Department of Education, via an application process, three separate times.

There are pros and cons for both the FLY and the post-Labor Day start, but, the consensus is that an earlier start allows the first semester to end before the Christmas break and provides a clean break and less interference with testing; and allows the second semester to be completed before Memorial Day. There is little or no sentiments to bring students back to school in June.  The earlier start provides flexibility in the school-year calendar to add a day’s break at appropriate times and yet accommodate the 175-day student calendar and 182-day teacher contract.

In other action the evening of Jan. 14, the School Board heard reports from the superintendent, principals, athletic director and committees; approved recommended fund-raisers; and accepted the resignation of  high school English teacher, Addison Sadler.

Springfield Advance-Press

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