No one can say the members of the Bridgewater-Raritan Regional Board of Education don't listen: the board reversed itself at Thursday's meeting after initially voting to make two of the last three days of the 2014-15 school calendar full days, instead of the usual half-days.
Meeting at the John F. Kennedy School, in Raritan, the board voted to modify the calendar at the end of the year after member Evan Lerner said the days were spent "watching movies" because the half-day doesn't allow time for any lessons.
"You have a bunch of parents and at least one board member who thinks throwing away three days is irresponsible," he said.
Acting Superintendent Cheryl Dyer noted the half-days at the end of the school help teachers complete the paperwork and reporting.
After some discussion, the board members approved a change to the calendar making June 16 and June 17, 2015, full days of classes—until they heard from teacher and Washington Valley Road resident Kelly Ryan, who offered a different perspective on the last days of school.
She said she uses the time to complete a number of tasks, including assemble portfolios for the students' next teachers, complete report cards (which the district has available on the last day of school), complete student placement and attendance records, and cleanup the classroom.
"The biggest thing I'd like to consider is that, while the high school does have climate control, we at the elementary schools do not," she said, adding it can get "quite hot in the afternoon" in June.
Compelled by her comments, the board changed its amendment to the calendar, but splitting the difference—students will have a full-day of classes June 16, 2015, and a half-day on June 17, 2015.