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Published: Wednesday, 3/26/2014 - Updated: 8 months ago

Homework plan proposed in making up TPS classwork

BY NOLAN ROSENKRANS
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Matt Cleland. Matt Cleland.
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Toledo Public Schools students will use homework to make up several days missed when snow or cold canceled classes, but the district’s complete makeup plan is not yet finalized.

While many Toledo-area school districts already have complete calamity-day plans approved by their boards of education, the final element of TPS’ plan must still be negotiated with its staff.

State lawmakers voted earlier this month to allow schools to write off up to four additional days lost to weather on top of the five school calendar days already allowed. After districts make up at least four other days, they can use holidays and other contingency days written into their calendars, “blizzard bag” home assignments, expanded school days, or extend classes deeper into the summer.

TPS has missed 13 days so far this winter.

The Toledo Board of Education approved Tuesday the use of “blizzard bags.” Students will be given the work during the week of April 7, and must turn in the assignments within two weeks. District officials had announced intentions of using “blizzard bags” weeks ago, but needed board approval for the plan.

Board member Chris Varwig told administrators that many parents have asked when they’d be notified about the official plan for blizzard bags.

“They just need to know something,” she said.

Chief Academic Officer Jim Gault said the district was waiting for board approval of the plan before notifying parents.

District officials also learned this week that canceled delayed starts also would count toward time missed.

The blizzard bags and canceled delayed starts still won’t cover all the time TPS has to make up, however. Administrators want to add 30 minutes to the end of several days to satisfy the rest of the makeup time, but still must negotiate how much staff will be paid for that extra time, Mr. Gault said.

Meanwhile, other districts have already announced their complete calamity days plans.

Among them, the Sylvania district decided to convert three delayed-start days to full days, add an hour of instruction to 11 days, and add one day for high school and junior-high students and two days for elementary students to the end of the year.

The Springfield district will add 30 minutes to the end of each day from April 7 through April 25, and add an extra day at the school year’s end. Washington Local, which already had five extra days built into its schedule, plans to extend its school year by one day.

Perrysburg schools will send home blizzard bags March 28, with those due April 11, and made May 23 an instruction day, and moved the last day of school to June 6.

In other news, the Toledo school board approved Tuesday a five-year contract extension for TPS treasurer Matt Cleland. Mr. Cleland received a two-year contract in 2012 with a $130,500 salary after taking the district’s top financial position several months before when predecessor Dan Romano resigned.

Board members voted in February to offer Mr. Cleland a new contract and to begin negotiations over its terms.

His contract was set to expire July 31, but will now run until July 31, 2019.

His new contract boosts his salary to $140,000, and he will be eligible for merit increases each year based on performance.

Contact Nolan Rosenkrans at: nrosenkrans@theblade.com or 419-724-6086, or on Twitter @NolanRosenkrans.



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