School Committee Votes to Change Present School Calendar

In a special meeting conducted with remote participation of all members of the School Committee, a vote was taken to change April 21, 22, 23, and 24 of the present school calendar (2019-2020) from vacation days to remote learning days, with June 18 designated as the last day of school.  May 29 will remain the last day of school for Holliston High School seniors.

Superintendent Dr. Brad Jackson read a memo detailing points in support of the modification of the 2019-2020 calendar. 

  • The State and community are under a stay at home order of Governor Baker; vacation travel and planned visits are not possible. 
  • Phase II of the Remote Learning Plan just rolled out earlier this week and students and staff are just beginning to establish this routine; “A 10-day break would be detrimental to the learning process and momentum.” 
  • Changing designations of these 4 days would allow the schools to close earlier, thus benefitting students and staff working in schools with no air conditioning.

Jackson clarified that if schools were to be called back into session prior to June 18, the end date of June 18 would remain.

Dr. Jackson reported that in conversation with Jaime Cutone, President of the Holliston Federation of Teachers (HFT), “The HFT supports this proposal to the School Committee.” Additionally, Jackson emailed staff on Sunday, encouraging them to provide feedback on the calendar change.  Only one concern (teachers and some students could use a break) was among the 12 – 15 responses received. 

Jackson’s answers to clarifying questions from members of the Committee revealed the following:

  • The change in the calendar year will not alter the 185 contractual days of teacher agreements;  (Monday, April 20, is a non-working State holiday.)
  • Working within the remote learning plan, no exams will be given at either at the high school or the middle school.

The motion to change the 2019-2020 school calendar was unanimously approved. 

The next meeting of the School Committee will be April 16.

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Yvette Cain