Welcome! This page is dedicated to your questions for Superintendent Rob Glass, PhD. We invite you to submit the form below and "Ask Rob" your question.
Questions will be answered as soon as possible, but likely within ten business days. We appreciate your patience. Appropriate questions and answers will be posted below the question form. Please check the Q&A to see if your question has already been asked and answered before submitting the form.
Q: My boys had the opportunity to attend an international school in Germany for three years. This exposed us to an academic calendar that had an allocation of school time versus break time throughout the year that I consider vastly superior to the one in the BH school district. This got me wondering how the academic calendar in the BH school district gets determined, and if there is any possibility of influencing this through political or some other means. I understand that there is a law in Michigan requiring school to start after Labor Day, but besides from that, how does the schedule get determined? Who determines what breaks there are, how long they are, and when they occur? Is there any consideration of the desires of the district’s customers/taxpayers?
A: Thanks for your question and suggestion.
Our calendars are negotiated every few years, and we do have some parameters. We must start after Labor Day and have at least 180 days and 1098 hours of instruction (which we currently exceed). We try to follow a common calendar across the county, but it is not mandatory. Generally we close school for major Christian and Jewish holidays as we know that attendance would be low on those days and we have a minimum percentage of attendance required in order for a day to be counted. We also have a couple of weeks before school begins where our teachers receive professional development and prepare for the year.
Aside from the above, most of the patterns in the school calendar have developed over time based upon established patterns and our perception of community preferences. At one time, Way school was on a 'year round' calendar, and it was dropped after a number of years. Currently, I don't hear much from parents or other taxpayers about wanting a different schedule. Technically we can consider other options within the law and within our current budget (adding time usually involves adding cost). It has been my experience that significant schedule change is much easier said than done for a variety of reasons. That said, I'm always open to other thoughts and suggestions.
Q: Will the District seriously consider early or staggered start times? The medical research seems compelling at this point, if not overwhelming. And the change certainly seems to fit with the more "open" and "collegiate" nature of the new high school. The logistics are daunting, but it is certainly doable. Thanks again for the multiple opportunities for communication.
A: Thanks so much for the question and the feedback. I do think we will be at least taking this up at some point in the reasonable future. We considered doing so last year but had to make some capacity decisions. You state the current situation well, and you are not alone in this request.