NDA Adds 3 Days to School Calendar; 1st Hour Adds 3 Minutes from Lunch

Abby Almonte, Staff Writer

After just beginning their second semester, Notre Dame Academy students are already looking forward to additional school days and fewer vacation days.

Being in an area like Wisconsin, people expect that school will be cancelled due to excessive amounts of snow. Notre Dame Academy prepares for these types of situations by building in extra school days throughout the year to ensure that even the slightest delay will not hinder learning time.

“We’ve been fortunate in the past, and living in Wisconsin, we’ve got to expect weather cancellations. All of us hate to change vacation plans, but I’m still happy we finish the school year in May and not June 12th or so,” said English teacher Mrs. Carolyn Brown.

Hardly into their second week, Notre Dame Academy students experienced not one but three consecutive school cancellations in a row. Unlike a usual cancellation, the reasoning behind this was because of severe, freezing wind chill temperatures.

“It is unfortunate that we need to make up the school days, but being a native of Wisconsin, I realize there is not a whole lot we can do about it,” said Notre Dame Associate Principal Mr. Greg Masarik.

In attempt to slowly work in more class time, the regular day schedule has been revised to add in some hours by taking three minutes out of the lunch hour and adding it to first period.

“The idea was creative; I’m glad it didn’t happen last semester when we had Public Performance because we loved doing lunchtime shows,” said Brown.

More recently, the decision to have school on February the 14th, Valentine’s Day, brought either anger or indifference among students.

The administration has since declared Easter Monday a regular school day to make up for yet another missed school day.  Also, final exam week will now end on Friday, May 21, rather Thursday, May 20.

The Green Bay Public School District makes the call on whether or not schools will have cancellations. Notre Dame draws students from all over Northeastern Wisconsin and not just Green Bay, so if local public school districts in other areas like Pulaski make a cancellation, it applies to any student living in that area.

“In regard to wanting to make these decisions, quite frankly, there are so many decisions that I have to make, many of which may be unpopular, I am glad to not have to make these decisions,” said Masarik.

“Know that as we designed the school calendar for next year, we learned from this year and built in more hours of instruction to accommodate snow days. That being said, I hope we are not in the same situation next year. It would have to be a winter worse than this one or some other catastrophic event to be in the same situation,” Masarik said.

“The IB classes are the classes or curriculum hurt the most by the lost days. The IB date for exams doesn’t change, so we lose valuable prep time. Hopefully the ‘upside’ is our students will understand  the importance of working harder in our limited time,” Brown said. “The pressure of upcoming exams usually keeps them on task.”