PHOENIXVILLE - The school board voted to approve the 2004-2005 Phoenixville Area School Board Calendar, which calls for adding make-up days to the end of the school year with the opening of school prior to Labor Day.

Superintendent David Noyes Ph.D. lobbied board members to approve a schedule that would coincide with the Chester County Intermediate Unit's Calendar.

"It avoids unnecessary transportation costs and avoids students missing school unnecessarily," said Noyes.

Noyes argued that 300 students, or 10 percent of PASD students who attend the CCIU unit, would be affected. He also said that the PASD would be responsible for busing students from 60 different schools if the two schedules didn't mesh.

Several parents of students spoke who disagreed with a 10-day spring break and instead felt that students and teachers would be better served by adding school days when school was canceled because of snow/emergency to the spring break period rather than at the end of the year.

Several members of the board and Noyes said that both teachers and students often schedule vacations during this period and might be forced to cancel plans because of late changes to the calendar.

The board took two votes.

The board first voted to consider a calendar that would have added snow emergency days to the spring break rather than at the end of the year. Boardmembers Fred Parry, Mary Parris, Robb Frees and Bill Mea voted against the proposal while Nancy McAvoy, Mark Casaday, Kelly Connors and Debbie Dawson voted in favor of adding days to the break. The motion failed owing to a 4-4 tie.

The board then voted 7-1 with a single "no" vote from Bill Mea to approve the 2004- 2005 calendar and a tentative 2005-2006 calendar as recommended by Noyes. Jill Slawecki and Michelle Diekow were absent.

Following the vote, Dawson suggested that parents be surveyed prior to institution of the 2005-2006 schedule.

Frees suggested use of the school district Web site for polling, Noyes agreed and George Frazier, director of technology, was consulted from the audience, and agreed that an accurate survey could be fairly instituted.

For the 2004-2005 PASD school year, the first day of school for students will be Monday, Aug. 30, with three days of orientation for new teachers starting on Monday, Aug. 23, an in-service day Thursday, Aug. 26 and with school not in session on Friday, Aug. 27.

School will not be in session on Friday, Sept. 3, and Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 6. There will be an in-service day on Monday, Oct. 4.

On Thursday, Nov. 4, the marking period will end, with the second marking period beginning the next day.

School will not be in session, with conferences during the afternoon of Tuesday, Nov. 23 and Wednesday, Nov. 24.

School will not in be session on Thursday, Nov. 25 and Friday, Nov. 26 for Thanksgiving recess.

Winter recess will start on Friday, Dec. 24 and school will resume on Monday, Jan. 3. School will not be in session on Monday, Jan. 17 in observance of Martin Luther King Day, with school not in session with an in-service day on Tuesday, Jan. 18.

The second marking period will end on Friday, Jan. 21 and the third will commence on Monday, Jan. 24.

School will not be in session for grades 6-12 because of afternoon and evening conferences on Wednesday, Feb. 16.

Morning and afternoon conference sessions will keep grades 6-12 out of school on Thursday, Feb. 17. A staff in-service day will be held on Friday, Feb. 18, with a day off due to President's Day on Monday, Feb. 21.

Spring recess will start on Friday, March 25, with students returning on Monday, April 4.

The third marking period will end on Thursday, April 7 and the fourth will begin on Friday, April 8.

Grades K-5 will hold afternoon and evening conferences with school not in session for those grades on Thursday, April 14. Students from grades K-5 will be off again on Friday, April 15 due to morning and afternoon conferences.

Friday, May 27 will be an in-service day with schools closed on Memorial Day, Monday, May 30.

Graduation will be held Tuesday, June 14.

School will end on Tuesday, June 14, with an in-service day scheduled for Thursday, June 15.

The first three snow/emergency days will not be made up as the district offers more days of instruction than is required.

If more than three snow/emergency days are required to be made up, the make-up order will be as follows: Wednesday, June 15, Thursday, June 16, and Friday, June 17.

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