Friday, January 30, 2015

Wabash City Schools Calendar Survey

Wabash City Schools 2015-2016 Calendar Survey

 Over the last decade in the public school environment, there have been many conversations about the school year calendar. Many schools both across the State of Indiana and the nation have looked at a “balanced” calendar as an alternative to the traditional school calendar. The “balanced” calendar tends to begin earlier and have longer breaks within the school year than a traditional calendar. However, most calendars are still only 180 days of school. Locally, Rochester Community Schools and Maconaquah Community Schools have adopted “Balanced” calendars. Wabash City Schools is considering adding a full week at Fall break for the 2015-2016 school year. We believe that it could have some positive impacts on staff and student morale. Please consider the following ideas and then take a quick survey to help inform us on how our parents, students and staff feel about the possible change.

 Calendar A Wabash City Schools is considering a slight change to the 2015-2016 school calendar that would provide a full week off for fall break, from Monday, October 19th through Friday, October 23rd. This schedule, Calendar A, would put the school start date on Friday August 7, 2015 and end on Tuesday, May 24, 2016.

 Calendar B The other calendar option, Calendar B, is to remain consistent with this year’s calendar, beginning on a Friday, August 7th and providing fall break on 2 days October 16th & 19th, and ending Thursday, May 19, 2016.




 Considerations

 Academics
 One of the academic arguments for a “Balanced” Calendar is that it shortens the time outside of school when students experience summer learning loss. According to research, students experience 1 to 2 months of learning loss during the summer months. (Cooper et al., 1996). Balanced calendars have been suggested to help combat summer learning loss. The basic premise is that the longer the summer, the longer time students have to forget or lose academic knowledge, skills and dispositions. A “balanced” calendar will provide less time for students to lose knowledge, skills and dispositions. Calendar A does not significantly change the school year, thus it does not have a significant impact on summer learning loss. Wabash City Schools would consider providing enrichment/remediation during this time; however, we would need to evaluate interest/costs. If we choose Calendar A, we will evaluate academic data.

 Student Engagement
 We know that the level of student engagement has an impact on student drop out rates (Archambault, et al., 2008). Although the research does not show significant gains, some schools who have turned to the “balanced” calendar have found that discipline and attendance rates have improved. Evaluating discipline data from 2013-2014, discipline incidences always decrease after school breaks.
If we choose Calendar A, we will evaluate student engagement through discipline, attendance and academics.

Athletics
 During the week of October 19th through the 23rd, Wabash Middle School will have a RRC football game; Varsity football and volleyball will have sectionals; and Varsity Cross Country will have semistate. Considering we hold athletic practices and events during other breaks including our existing fall break, we feel this is a minor issue.

 Conclusion
We believe this is a slight change in the schedule. Including a full week for fall break only increases the break by 3 days. We believe that it provides a symmetrical break with spring break after the 1st nine weeks of school. This break could be a boost to student morale, improving student engagement. Both calendars begin on the same day and we end the school year 3 days later with Calendar A. Please consider the 2 calendars and respond to the survey link below.

Survey Link


Sunday, January 4, 2015

Precautionary Steps for Winter Weather

With the potential for some winter weather later this week, Wabash City wants to remind our students and families to take some steps to ensure safe winter travel to and from school.  Student safety is our number one priority and we want to work with families to ensure our students are safe.  If there is a safety concern, please contact your child’s school and we can work through the issue.  We are more than willing to pick up a kid who is unable to walk due to the weather conditions.  With that being said, it is winter in Indiana and we will be holding school in the snow and in the cold.  Please take the following steps to be prepared for the winter weather season:

1)   Plan for delays/cancellations:  We understand that childcare is an issue and we believe it is always best to be in school; however, weather conditions sometimes warrant delays or cancellations.  We will try to make the call as soon as we possibly can but at times weather conditions can worsen or improve in the matter of minutes.  We realize this is a burden on our families of young children but we will always err on the side of safety. 
2)   Communication:  It is important to know where you can receive information on delays/cancellations.  The most up to date information will be passed along via Twitter @WCS_SUPT.  We will also send out a school message within 5 to 10 minutes of Twitter.  However, we will also use traditional ways such as radio stations 105.9 & 95.9 and TV stations 15 & 21 (Ft. Wayne) & Indy stations 8 & 13. 
a.     If you have additional questions, again, the quickest way is via Twitter.  You may also contact your child’s school; however, if weather conditions prevent office staff from coming in, you may have to just leave a message or call the central office at 563-2151. 
b.     Again, if you have concerns about your child’s safety, err on the side of caution.  Wabash City wants to work with our families.  If you child is a walker and there is a concern about temperature or sidewalks being clean, contact the school.  If we are able to provide transportation, we will work with families to ensure students are safe. 
3)   Dress for the weather: This is important for all students, but especially our walkers.  Please dress for the weather.  If your child does not have gloves, coat and hat, please contact the school.  We will find a way to ensure all students have the necessary winter clothes.
4)   Take your time:  This is especially true for our student drivers.  If weather creates a potential for less than perfect street conditions, prepare to leave earlier to clean windows and drive slower to school. 



For road conditions, Wabash City will drive the streets within the district before making a decision.  The Wabash City Street Department does an excellent job in clearing the streets.  Sometimes delays  provide more time for drivers and the street department.  There is no magic number of inches that will guarantee a delay or cancellation. 

For cold weather conditions, Wabash City will use the National Weather Service Windchill Chart in determining delays and cancellations due to cold.  Wabash City will delay when the weather conditions show that frostbite may occur to skin exposed to the elements for 30 minutes or less.  Although we will delay at 30 minutes, we may still hold school.    



Friday, October 24, 2014

Wabash County Promise

Wabash County Promise Ice Cream Social
Grades K-4:  Come and celebrate the Wabash County Promise with an ice cream social this coming Tuesday, October 28th from 5:30 – 6:30 in the OJN Cafeteria!

We will be serving ice cream sundaes and will be available to answer any questions you may have about the Wabash County Promise or your student’s 529 account.  

Those who attend will be entered in a drawing for $100 donation to their student’s account!  There will be 5 winners.  Must have a 529 account to be eligible. 

As part of our celebration, Tuesday will be college shirt day where students can wear their favorite college shirt or college colors to school.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Harvey Hinklemeyers’ Apache Way Staff Member of the Month Award







Wabash City Schools and Harvey Hinklemeyers are proud to announce The Apache Way Staff Member of the Month Award. The award recognizes Wabash City Schools’ employees who make a positive difference in kids’ lives.  The Apache Way Staff Member of the month will be awarded to a teacher or staff member from each of the 3 schools: OJ Neighbours Elementary, Wabash Middle School, and Wabash High School each month.  In recognizing the significant impact teachers have on our kids and our community, Harvey Hinklemeyers will provide a dinner for two $20 gift certificate to each winner.  Students, parents, community members or school faculty and staff may nominate staff members for the award.  Nomination forms can be found at each school or on the school website.   Our school website is located at www.apaches.k12.in.us.   Wabash City Schools believes it is people not programs that make the biggest difference in the lives of our kids and we appreciate the willingness of Harvey Hinklemeyers to support these people.


Friday, March 14, 2014

Updated Make-Up Day Schedule

March 14th, 2014

Dear Parents and Caregivers,

As of March 14th, Wabash City Schools has missed 12 days due to the weather.  January 6th & 7th were waived by the IDOE leaving us with 10 make-up days.  Below’s chart includes the days missed and the proposed make up days. 



Make up Days for O.J. Neighbours, W.C Mills, and Wabash MS


Days Missed
January 6
January
7
Jan. 8
Jan. 9
Jan. 10
Jan.23
Make-up Days
Waived
Waived
February 3
February 17
March 17
May 23
Days Missed
Jan. 24
Jan. 27
Jan. 28
February
5
February 7
March 12
Make-up Days
May 27
May 28
May 29
Feb 20-27*
February 28-March 7*
April 18th-April 25th

Make up Days for Wabash High School


Days Missed
January 6
January
7
Jan. 8
Jan. 9
Jan. 10
Jan. 23
Make-up Days
Waived
Waived
February 3
February 17
March 17
May 23
Days Missed
Jan. 24
Jan. 27
Jan. 28
February
5
February 7
March 12
Make-up Days
May 27
May 28
May 29
April 24-May 1*
May 2-May 9*
April 16-23
*An hour will be added to each school day during this span of time.

What about graduation?


Due to the closings, we were forced to move graduation back from our original date of May 23rd.  We moved graduation to Sunday, June 1st because the only available days at the Honeywell Center were on a Sunday.  We understand that this has caused some changes in plans and may make some travel arrangements difficult for families traveling out of town.  However, this is the best plan to accommodate the majority while keeping graduation at the Honeywell Center.

If there are additional concerns or questions, please feel free to either contact me at 563-2151 or your child’s building principal.

Sincerely,



Jason Callahan, Superintendent