Board OKs new calendar

By: 
Derek Spellman

Stoughton students will again spend 180 days in the classroom next school year under the new calendar approved by the school board last week.

School next year will start on Sept. 3, 2013, and end on June 10, 2014. Early release days will fall on Oct. 25, Jan. 24, Feb. 28, May 23 and June 10.  Teachers and staff will again have four professional development days, as they do this year.

Under the 2011-2012 calendar, students spent 175 days in the classroom. The calendar for the current school year, approved in March 2012 by the school board, increased that to 180 largely through the elimination of the three “Academic Excellence Days” and the restructuring of other parts of the schedule.

Next year’s calendar continues those changes.

In other business last week, the board also heard that student enrollment as of last month had declined slightly compared to September 2012.

The “third Friday” count conducted in Stoughton in January showed the district with a total of 3,258 students, compared to 3,262 counted during the third Friday in September 2012. Neither figure includes students in the district’s online education program, JEDI, which last month showed 20 students, boosting the total enrollment to 3,278. In September, total enrollment reached 3,279 including online students.

Still, last month’s enrollment is a steeper decline when compared to January 2012’s head count of 3,326. The January 2011 head count tallied 3,364 students.

Declining enrollment has been a trend at the district for years. The district this year started offering its new online education program, JEDI, to help stem that decline and capture some students who reside in the district but attend school elsewhere, such as in another district’s online education program, or are home-schooled.