The Reading Board of Education held a special meeting on Wednesday, July 24, to discuss the school construction project. The Board voted to change the school calendar for the 2019-2020 school year to add four more days for the construction crew to complete the academic wings of our new PK-12 school. The changes made to the calendar last night were contingent upon the approval by the Reading Education Association. The calendar was modified from the calendar that was shared at the Board meeting. A final vote on the new 2019-2020 calendar will take place at an August Board meeting.
The new proposed calendar has school now starting for students in grades 6-12 on Monday, September 9, 2019. Students in grades 1-5 will begin on Tuesday, September 10, 2019, and PreK and Kindergarten will begin Thursday, September 12.
Orientation for Pre-K and Kindergarten students will be held September 9, 10, and 11. Specifics on orientation dates and times will be shared with parents in early August.
In addition, the district will be delaying the open house scheduled for August 27 to September 5, from 3 p.m. – 7 p.m. at Reading’s new PK-12 School, 810 Columbia Avenue. The “Meet the Teacher” open houses will be scheduled by the principal after the start of the school year.
The proposed changes will not impact any current breaks or lengthen the school year. The following days have been changed to make up the days lost from the delayed start. The state of Ohio bases the school calendar on hours of instruction and not days. Reading School District has built-in additional hours to the school calendar that far exceeds the state minimum so the district will meet the state requirements even if we have a difficult winter.
Revisions to 2019-2020 Calendar
Friday, October 18-Scheduled Professional Development Day-changed to full day for students and teachers.
Thursday, November 7-Scheduled ½ Conference Day-Changed to full day for students and teachers.
Thursday, November 14-Scheduled ½ Conference Day-Changed to full conference day – No school for students.
Friday, November 15-Scheduled Full Records Day-Changed to full day student and teachers.
Thursday, March 5-Scheduled ½ Conference Day-Changed to full conference day – No school for students.
Thursday, March 12-Scheduled ½ Conference Day- Changed to full day student and teachers.
Friday, March 13-Scheduled Full Records Day-Changed to full day students and teachers.
With the new school, daily start and dismissal times have also been modified and staggered to ease traffic issues with pick and drop off. With the later start times for the elementary school, the district will provide supervision for elementary students beginning at 7:40 a.m. on school days. Further details will be shared with parents in August.
Reading Elementary School Hours (Grades PK-5) 8:50 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
Reading Middle School Hours (Grades 6-8) 8:05 a.m.-2:55 p.m.
Reading High School Hours (Grades 9-12) 8:05 a.m.-2:55 p.m.
At the Board meeting, Mr. LaFata discussed traffic concerns. He said that the circular driveway around the building and the traffic circle in the front of the building were designed by a traffic engineer. The district will have police officers, two crossing guards, and extra staff to direct parents during the opening days of school.
“We have done our best to prepare but with it being a new building we will not know until we get in there how traffic will flow. We may have to adjust the schedule if it’s not working,” Mr. LaFata said.
Pete McCollow from Shook/Touchstone, the project manager for the new school, shared a report at the meeting. Mr. McCollow is responsible for the budget and for making sure the project is on time.
The following occupancies are scheduled to be granted by the building department for Reading’s PK-12 school:
- Temporary occupancy for staff only August 26-September 6, 2019.
- Staff and student occupancy on Monday, September 9.
Mr. McCollow also shared that the construction crew is focusing all of their efforts on getting the academic wings and administrative areas ready for the first day of school. The finish work on the high school gymnasium and locker room will not be ready until as late as September 20. After the start of school, this area will be cordoned off until the work is completed. All of the items on the punch-out list for the building are scheduled to be completed by October 1, 2019.