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Trustees discuss split bell schedule


School for students in the La Vernia Independent School District will begin Aug. 25 and end June 4, 2015, for the 2014-15 academic year, following a decision by the district’s board of trustees during the April 7 regular board meeting, according to board President Cody Miller after the meeting.

The calendar approved includes a winter break from Dec. 22 through Jan. 2, and spring break March 9-13.

School start times also were a topic of discussion with Interim Superintendent Linda Bettin, Dr. Miller said.

“Ms. Bettin is looking at splitting the start times, as research has shown that older kids do better when they start classes later,” the Miller said.

The school board president said he also asked the district’s administration to look into establishing an after-school program for parents who work in San Antonio or elsewhere outside the area, perhaps partnering with another organization to make this possible. Miller cited that most in Bexar County districts where the older students start and finish later, the districts offer an affordable after-care program for younger children.

Also approved by the board were interlocal agreements with the Floresville Alternative Education Center. The new agreement adds two seats for La Vernia students. Miller said all participating districts had seats added for the coming school year. La Vernia also added services for its special education students who may attend the program.

“Before, this was an additional cost,” Miller said. “Now it’s part of the contract. This makes it easier for La Vernia to budget for.”

Another matter addressed by the trustees was serving lines in the cafeterias on two district campuses. Both are in “pretty bad shape,” Miller said, with water lines that aren’t functioning and staff having to carry water to the serve lines in buckets.

The board approved repairs/renovations at a cost of $300,000. Half the cost will be met from the general fund, with the other half coming from the child nutrition budget. The work will be done this summer and completed in time for the start of school in August, Miller said.

The district’s trustees also approved renewing contracts of professional staff as presented by the interim superintendent. This included “nearly all” the district’s professionals, Miller said.

The board was set to name the lone finalist for the superintendent’s position during a special meeting April 9.

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