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Whitnall Calendar Saga Comes to Conclusion

The School Board unanimously passed an amendment put forth by Board member TJ Anderson that incorporates early release and late start times for the three school levels.

While slowly putting both fists up in the air and quietly saying, “Yes,” Whitnall School Board member TJ Anderson let out what could have been considered a collective sigh of relief.

Two weeks after learning the , Anderson’s amendment put an end of and hours of conversations. The amendment passed unanimously on Monday night. 

The amendment aligned all the on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month, with the following impact on each grade level.

  • Elementary: early release Wednesdays with school hours of 8:35 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. on those days.
  • : early release Wednesdays with school hours of 8 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. on those days.
  • : late start Wednesdays with school hours of 8:45 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. on those days.

“Yes, we know what the survey results are, but the key to this is the principals and administrators,” Anderson said. “Each principal laid out what they wanted … what fits into what they’re looking for needs to be taken into consideration.

“The thread I got out of the survey was consistency. Parents want a consistent pattern to make it easier to forecast their life moving forward. … The responsibility falls on us to take all the information and piece it all together to best drive education for the kids.”

Before considering Anderson’s amendment, Board newcomer Eileen Valaitis proposed an amendment of her own, a collaborative release at all levels on the second and fourth Fridays of each month with the school hours remaining the same as those proposed by former .

The motion failed, 5-2, as board members raised concerns about high school students having more time on their hands on Fridays and the quality – or potential lack there of – of Friday afternoon collaborative sessions.

“There’s not going to be one plan that’s going to fit,” Valaitis said. “There’s not going to be one plan that addresses everybody’s needs.”

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