Hermiston students will end school three days later than planned and teachers will see a couple of schedule adjustments to make up for February snow days and delays.
At the recommendation of Superintendent Tricia Mooney, the school board voted to move students’ last day (except high school seniors) to Thursday, June 13, adding three days on after the original release day of Monday, June 11. The final day for staff will now be Friday, June 14, but the board also voted to add time to staff’s Professional Learning Communities, small professional development groups that meet each week.
Graduation is still June 6 at the Toyota Center in Kennewick.
The board extended the school year so the district would meet the statewide minimum for annual instructional time, which Mooney said is about 990 hours — although there is a tiered system. Mooney said the proposed changes would put high school freshmen through juniors about six hours under the required instructional hours. But she said there are exceptions, including using teacher professional development time to make up for those hours.
Mooney said she worked with Hermiston Association of Teachers representative Delfino Osorio Garcia to come up with a plan that would work for the staff, and that they went through several ideas.
They looked at having students end on June 14 and teachers end the following Tuesday, but that would run into the beginning of summer school, which would be a problem for some families.
Mooney said they also looked at having students attend school on parent-teacher conference days, which will happen later this month. But that would have had teachers working long hours on those days, and several teachers and families had already made plans for the end of that week, which is a non-staff and student day that precedes the week of spring break.
Garcia said in an email to the East Oregonian that a survey of teachers showed enough concern about the 48-work week and shortened spring break to agree to the three-day extension.