Early release on Wednesday for Dist. 299


By Daniel E. McGonigle

General Manager

The Caledonia Argus


The administrative team at Caledonia High School has been looking at an early release on Wednesdays beginning in the 2014-15 school year.

“We’ve had conversations with our clergy and faith leaders in the community,” said Superintendent Ben Barton. “We’ve gathered input from our staff and we feel like we’ve looked at all the angles.”

Barton noted that the staff at the middle school wanted to see advisor/advisee time worked back into the school day.

The high school staff noted that they wanted to see the change made with more time available at the end of a school day.

The proposal would give teachers the opportunity to work with their PLC (Public Learning Communities).

The board was concerned with Caledonia’s schedule lining up with those communities that we share sports with, Spring Grove and Houston.

“We’d be more in line with how their schedules look,” said principal and athletic director Paul DeMorett.

The administrative team is looking at a possible 8 a.m. start time with period seven ending at 2:30  p.m. with advisor time on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.

On Wednesday, those students who have good attendance, good behavior and are overall doing what they need to be doing, would be dismissed at 2:30 p.m.

“Practices could then begin at 2:45 p.m.,” said DeMorett.

The athletic director felt like the earlier time change could have student athletes attend their practices and still be done by 5:45 p.m. in the evening giving those involved in church activities time to make those events as well.

“Boys and girls basketball could still share the gym and get an hour and a half of practice in each Wednesday and still be done in time,” he said.

“We felt like this was a fair compromise,” said Barton. “We tried to hold Wednesdays as sacred as possible with the different night programs that our students are involved in.”


iPad policy

The district approved the iPad acceptable use and procedures policy.

“One of the things we had to look at was how do you insure a $600 piece of equipment that the district provides for students,” said DeMorett.

A $50 insurance policy can be taken out on each device with a $100 cap on families.

“Of the 200 or so devices that we sent with our students, only one came back as fully damaged or destroyed,” said DeMorett.

Three iPads were damaged last year with two being cracked screens which can be repaired. The fully damaged device had gone in water and was unusable.

“So, we wanted to take a look at that $50,” said DeMorett. “We didn’t want to stick it to our constituents.”

The policy will now be $50 for the 4th graders in the first year, and just $35 each year after that for a full insurance policy for your student’’s device.

The $100 cap will also remain in place.