FAQ on school suspension from April 2-11, 2018

posted Apr 8, 2018, 5:48 PM by Granger Meador   [ updated Apr 20, 2018, 2:42 PM ]
Although schools reopened on Thursday, 4/12 the suspension of schools for eight days in April creates many inquiries and concerns. Below is an FAQ about the situation as it stood on Thursday, April 12.
  • Is the district still pursuing more school funding? Local teachers returned to their classrooms on Thursday, April 12. The district will continue to send as appropriate a contingent of teachers, selected by the Bartlesville Education Association, to work at the Capitol on plans to further increase schools’ operational funding. Community supporters have joined in as part of the Bartlesville groups at the Capitol and are still covering the transportation costs.
  • How will the suspension days be made up? 
See the calendar at the end of this post.

For elementary and middle school students, Monday, April 9 will be made up on Friday, May 25 and Tuesday and Wednesday, April 10-11 will be made up on Tuesday and Wednesday, May 29-30.

For high school students, who are already attending class on Friday, May 25, the missed classes on Monday-Wednesday, April 9-11 will be made up on Tuesday-Thursday, May 29-31.
  • Why can’t the school day be extended rather than adding more days at the end of the year? 
    • To make up for the anticipated April 2-5 suspension, BHS extended the class day for a total of 15 minutes each day. Extending the day even further creates bus scheduling issues that may not be readily resolved. 
    • For middle school and elementary grades, adjustments in the school schedule are especially troublesome because of busing limitations, parents’ work hours, and transportation routines.
    • Food service contracts and funding are dependent on a given number of serving days. The Child Nutrition department is already losing about $8,000 per suspension day in lost revenues, which would be exacerbated if additional serving days are lost.
    • Any additional suspension days not made up with actual school days will reduce the take-home pay of all days-in-session school employees such as paraprofessionals, bus drivers, teacher aides, etc. 
    • Any additional suspension days not made up with actual school days would require teachers to complete by early June even more professional development outside the instructional day to fulfill their contracts, and they already have to complete 30 to 36 hours, which is a practical limit. 
  • What’s being done about the schedule for mandatory state tests? 
  • Early on April 9 the State Superintendent announced a one-week extension of the testing window. The district is making a good-faith effort to conduct all tests within the expanded window. 

    The ACT test for all juniors at Bartlesville HIgh School originally scheduled for 4/3 will be made up on Tuesday, April 24.
  • By adding extra days to the school schedule, is the district providing more instructional hours than are actually mandated by state law? The district’s plan ensures the state-mandated minimum at the high school. See an earlier question about why days are being added rather than lengthening the remaining days. A full explanation appears below the academic calendar slideshow at the end of this post.
  • Were teachers being paid during the suspension period? Yes, teachers are paid for the school year with one check each month. It would take a violation of their contract for them to not be paid. Teachers are being allowed to fulfill their 181-day contracts by completing by early June six hours of professional development outside of the instructional day for each day they did not meet with students due to inclement weather or the suspension that are not shifted to the end of the academic year. 
  • Were classified school employees being paid during the suspension period? Classified employees of the school district were receiving normal salary during the suspension period EXCEPT for Monday-Wednesday, 4/9-11, when days-in-session employees were technically not being paid until school resumed on 4/12. When the additional school days are added in late May, those employees will be earning the pay they would have normally been earning on days missed 4/9-11 and thus suffer no loss. Days-in-session employees include paraprofessionals, aides, bus drivers, etc.
  • When will the final exams at BHS occur? They will still take place on Monday-Thursday, May 21-24. Seniors will have various graduation activities on May 25 while other grades are in class. All BHS classes will also meet Tuesday-Thursday May 29-31 after final exams to fulfill state-mandated instructional requirements, while elementary and middle school classes will meet Tuesday-Wednesday, May 29-30.
  • Will Commencement ceremonies still be held on Friday, May 25? Yes, graduation ceremonies will proceed as planned. 
  • My child cannot attend classes after Memorial Day. What can we do about this? Will my child be penalized? The site administrations will be developing plans and policies for such concerns. As always, the district will prioritize what is in the best interest of students.
For students at BHS, both final exams and senior activities will be completed by Friday, May 25. Students can have up to 10 absences in a course and still receive credit. So, although there will still be required classes at BHS on May 29-31, students who have 7 or fewer absences in all of their second semester courses as of May 25 should be able to miss one or more days after Memorial Day without losing credit in a course. 

Below high school, there will still be required classes on May 29-30, but students who have 8 or fewer absences as of May 25 in second semester courses should be able to miss one or both of those days without concerns about course credits.

If your student may still face attendance issues at the end of the school year, please contact his or her school counselor for assistance.
Granger Meador,
Apr 9, 2018, 6:06 AM
Granger Meador,
Apr 20, 2018, 2:42 PM