SUPERIOR — Elementary school students in Superior will start summer break two days earlier than the middle and high school students this spring.
The Superior School Board voted unanimously for the one-time change at its Jan. 8 regular meeting. The last day of school for elementary students will be June 5; the last day for older students is June 7.
Elementary school teachers will attend early literacy training June 6 and 7. The training is mandated by Wisconsin Act 20. The new reading law requires schools to provide science-based early literacy instruction, which stresses phonics.
“Act 20 will go into effect starting next school year, and it is critical that this training begins as soon as possible,” District Administrator Amy Starzecki told parents in an email update sent Jan. 9.
The district has a short time frame to get teachers trained, a process that is expected to cost the district $260,000, according to information provided to the board during last week’s
Providing two days of training during regular school days, when teachers are already being paid, would save the district $57,400. It also allows for Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund grant dollars, which run out in September, to be used to offset the costs.
There are different instructional requirements for elementary and secondary students. Fewer instructional minutes are required for younger students, so they can be released two days early and still meet state requirements, the board was told.
In other action, the district approved changes to the 2023-2024 employee handbook as it prepares to consolidate elementary schools.
“This was to address the specific impacts of staff reductions that will happen this spring and the closure of Lake Superior (Elementary School) to make sure that process is the way we want it to be,” Starzecki said.
The changes would allow staff on the reemployment list to take open positions before posting them out to the rest of the building or externally. The positions would be offered in order of seniority.
Recommendations for the 2024-2025 handbook will be brought forward in April.
Maria Lockwood covers news in Douglas County, Wisconsin, for the Superior Telegram.