Archive for Wednesday, February 16, 2011

First Bell: H.S. students may owe an hour for snow day; Elvis in the building at Sunset Hill; Pinckney leads in KU hoops attendance challenge

February 16, 2011

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A few education-oriented items from around the area:

Bad news, high schoolers: You may end up being the only ones required to make up extra time for a snow day this year.

Based on preliminary calculations, high school students would need to make up about an hour of instructional time lost when the Lawrence school district canceled classes Feb. 2.

That’s according to Frank Harwood, the district’s chief operations officer, who said that officials were still working to confirm how much time would need to be made up.

Some facts:

• The district’s first two days of class canceled because of inclement weather will be made up, as scheduled in the district’s original academic calendar, on April 15 and 29.

• The district’s next two days canceled because of weather will not be made up because the state gives the district two “free” days because it had planned ahead by scheduling two make-up days.

• The fifth canceled day of classes — that came Feb. 2 — likely won’t need to be made up at the elementary or junior high levels, Harwood said. Even after losing that day to snow, students in those schools remain on track to get the required 1,116 hours they need this year for instruction, as outlined by the Kansas State Department of Education.

Students in high school likely will need to make up an hour, Harwood said. That’s because of quirks in scheduling — some recesses, for example, count toward the 1,116-hour total — that differ from grade level to grade level.

One possible way for making up time at the high school level, Harwood said: Eliminate a single “late-arrival” day, a one-time move that would require students to show up an hour earlier than normal.

Don’t expect that decision to come anytime soon, or for any single extended school day to arrive this month. Harwood said that he still needed to meet with principals at Free State and Lawrence High to discuss options, and to hear suggestions about which particular day might be best to extend.

“Does it make more sense to do that at end of a quarter? Does that help with state testing? We want to see how we could use that time productively,” Harwood said.

A final decision also may not arrive until the advent of warm weather. After all, there’s no sense reshuffling the schedule until officials know, for sure, how many days — or hours — they’d need to make up.

“The problem will not get better,” Harwood said. “It only has the potential for getting worse, as far as minutes go. And that depends on the weather.”

•••

King Tut, Alexander the Great, Elvis, Martin Luther King, Johnny Depp, Anne Frank, Chief Red Cloud, Selena Gomez and Cleopatra are among the luminaries scheduled to make appearances today at Sunset Hill School, 901 Schwarz Road.

It’s time for the school’s Wax Museum, with sixth-graders poised to depict subjects of biographical research and studies launched several weeks ago.

Four separate “performances” are scheduled, the first beginning at 8:30 a.m. and the last ending at 6:30 p.m.; parents, friends and others may stop by.

Who knows? Perhaps one of these students someday might qualify to be the subject of a “Wax Museum” project at their elementary alma mater ...

•••

Pinckney School has jumped into the lead of the “Schools for Success Challenge,” a promotion that rewards elementary schools for the percentage of students attending women’s basketball games at Allen Fieldhouse.

The Panthers rank first among the Lawrence school district’s 15 schools in the challenge, in which schools compete for grants. At the end of the season, the school with the highest percentage of students attending games will get $5,000; the second-place school will get $3,000, and the third-place school will get $2,000.

The winning school also will welcome Coach Bonnie Henrickson, her players, KU cheerleaders and mascots to an assembly.

Here are the latest standings, based on average percentage of each school’s students attending each KU home game.

  1. Pinckney, with 3.31 percent.
  2. Schwegler, with 3.14 percent.
  3. Hillcrest, with 2.77 percent.
  4. Sunflower, with 1.75 percent.
  5. Woodlawn, with 1.61 percent.

Earlier this school year, Kansas Athletics Inc. sent special attendance cards to each elementary student in the district. The cards provide free admittance to any home KU women’s game.

Kansas Athletics started the program last year — using revenue from the NCAA Women’s Basketball Grant Program — to increase program awareness and attendance.

FYI: Kansas plays Missouri at 7 p.m. this Saturday, and the first 5,000 fans will receive a pink T-shirt in recognition of the Jayhawks for a Cure “Pink Zone” game. KU players will be wearing pink uniforms to support breast cancer awareness.

Both The Breast Center at Lawrence Memorial Hospital and the KU Cancer Center will receive proceeds from donations from Kansas Athletics, which has pledged $1 for every fan in attendance. Henrickson also has pledged $1 for every KU student in attendance.

— The First Bell e-mailbox is always open: mfagan@ljworld.com.

Comments

obamasocks 4 years, 4 months ago

Lawrence students should consider themselves lucky. Eudora schools canceled two planned days off AND required all High School and middle school students to show up an extra 15 minutes early every day for the rest of the year. Why does Eudora have to make up so much time? No clue...might make for an interesting story though, hint hint :)

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