A Message from our Superintendent - Regarding Important Dates

A Message from our Superintendent - Regarding Important Dates
Posted on 04/10/2019
calendar update

Please read the following letter from our Superintendent.

Click here for a Revised 2019-2020 Parent Calendar

Dear North Branch Families:

The purpose of this communication is to provide you with important updates regarding the 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 school calendars.

Board of Education Action on the 2018-2019 Calendar

North Branch Area Schools has canceled school a total of 15 dates due to inclement weather.   Under Michigan law, school districts are required to provide 180 days and 1,098 hours of instruction each school year.   The law allows districts to count up to six days of “forgiven” time for snow days. Up to an additional three days may be granted with the approval of the State Superintendent once the six days of “forgiven” time has been reached.   The Lapeer County Intermediate School District applied for a waiver of the three additional days on behalf of all county schools which was granted meaning North Branch Schools will need to reschedule six additional days to meet the 180 days of instruction mandated by the state.

In order to meet our legal obligation, the North Branch Board of Education has modified the 2018-2019 school calendar as follows:

1.    Added six days of instruction meaning the last day for students will now be Monday, June 17, 2019 which will be a full day of school.

The legislature is still considering House Bill 4206 which would excuse districts from making up days when the governor had declared a state of emergency (3 potential waived days at the end of January).    It is unclear if this bill will be approved. The North Branch Board of Education will reconsider the last day of school if HB 4206 makes it through the legislative process.

Board of Education Action on the 2019-2020 Calendar

I have attached a revised calendar which was board approved at the Monday, March 11 meeting.   The calendar has been on our website since board approval and has been shared through our social media.   The calendar will be in the next School Talk which will be mailed to all North Branch residents in the next few weeks.  One of the main reasons for revising the calendar was to take measures to minimize the need to add makeup days due to weather-related school cancellations.   The past two winters we have had to extend the school year due to inclement weather days. The 2019-2020 calendar has three built-in days that are scheduled off days but could easily become student days.   Please be assured parents will be given advanced notice to any alterations in the calendar if we experience a high number of cancellations next year.

1.    The start date for students for the 2019-2020 school year will be Tuesday, August 20, 2019.   The tentative end date for students will be Tuesday, June 9, 2020 which will be a half-day of school.

The district hosted two community meetings (March 3 & 5) seeking input from all stakeholders on the 2019-2020 school calendar.  We had a total of 59 community members attend the meetings and all but a few were supportive of the earlier start to the school year and were appreciative of the days built in to address days missed due to school cancellations.   We believe this revised calendar best serves the needs of our students and families.

Sincerely,

Jim Fish

North Branch Superintendent