Westerville City School District officials today announced that the first day of class for students in grades 1-12 has been changed for next school year from Wednesday, August 12, 2015, to Thursday, August 13, 2015. Kindergarten and preschool students will still have a gentle start to the school year with their first day of class scheduled for August 17, 2015
Superintendent Dr. John Kellogg said the adjustment will give the district an additional day at the start of the school year to provide critical training to teachers and other licensed staff regarding changes to the teacher evaluation process.
“House Bill 362 required school districts to comply with the new Ohio Teacher Evaluation System during the 2014-15 school year,” Kellogg said. “After having a year of this behind us, it’s clear that many questions remain about these new evaluation procedures, and many new questions have been raised as well. We owe it to our staff and community to ensure that our educators fully understand all that the new evaluation process entails.”
Kellogg said the district is able to use August 12 as a Professional Development Day due to the flexibility districts now have as a result of the school year being defined by hours rather than days.
“We used to call these ‘Waiver Days’ because we had to request approval from the state to use two days of the year for professional development purposes,” Kellogg explained. “Now that the waiver request process is no longer required due to the conversion from days to hours, we have greater latitude regarding when and how we can meet the professional development needs of our staff.”
The district also has identified Tuesday, November 3, 2015, as a Professional Development Day where students will not attend school. Early-Release Days for professional development purposes are scheduled for September 24, 2015; October 15, 2015; January 28, 2016; and February 25, 2016. The school day ends one hour earlier than normal for all students on Early-Release Days.
“The training and development of our employees is such an important part of our ongoing improvement efforts that we couldn’t do it without the support of our families,” Kellogg said. “We greatly appreciate everyone’s flexibility on these days.”