BCSC board votes to seek waiver on professional development

Bartholomew Consolidated School Corp. is requesting the state’s permission to count instructional time during the upcoming school year in hours rather than days.

The school board approved a resolution to seek a professional development flexibility waiver at a special board meeting on May 16.

Communications Coordinator Josh Burnett said in a previous interview that if the waiver is approved by the Indiana State Board of Education, it would not change BCSC’s 2023-24 calendar but would simply allow the school corporation to go ahead with the calendar as planned.

“The number of minutes or hours that we go per day is already in excess of the minimum number of hours that’s required by state statute,” said Superintendent Jim Roberts. “So when you take that and the fact that it’s done every day for 176 days, in this case, it gives us plenty of wiggle room to be allowed those days.”

He said that instead of having the standard 180 instructional days, BCSC plans to have 176 student days and four professional development days in 2023-2024. These days are currently scheduled for Sept. 5, Nov. 27, Feb. 19 and April 8.

“It gives us the opportunity to get 2,000 staff members together and aligned on working on the direction of our strategic plan,” said Roberts.

The school corporation will submit its waiver application by June 2, with the board of education reviewing the submission in June or July after it is first reviewed by the Indiana Department of Education.

Roberts said that since the state has approved this waiver for BCSC before, school officials are “not anticipating any challenges.”