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Last day of school: TBA

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By Stevie Lowery

We are days away from “Springing Forward” but Old Man Winter isn’t giving up quite yet, and that’s making matters difficult for the Marion County Public School System.
School was canceled Monday and Tuesday because of the winter weather and poor road conditions. As a result, students could be going to school until at least June 6. But, the Marion County Board of Education could change that depending on the decisions school board members make at their next board meeting on March 11.
“Everyone would like to get out of school in May and not get into June,” Superintendent Taylora Schlosser said during the board meeting Tuesday, Feb. 25.
Ideally, the last day of school would be Friday, May 30, and Marion County High School’s graduation would be held on Saturday, May 31, Schlosser said. But, in order to make that happen, the board will have to decide how it wants to handle the situation.
“Other school districts have elected to use Memorial Day as a makeup day,” Schlosser said. “So that is a possibility. And five days of Spring Break are available for makeup days.”
Schlosser said there are some students who have Spring Break plans, but many of those trips are educational.
“If a child has an opportunity to travel… a parent can talk to the principal… I think they would be willing to listen,” she said.
School board member Bernard Miles said he believes students would rather go to school part or all of spring break rather than be in school in June. He also said the district’s Governor Scholars deserve to have a break before the Governor’s Scholars Program begins.
According to Schlosser, the board could also decide to amend the school calendar to a total of 172 days instead of its current 174-day calendar.
“We have some options,” she said.
The next school board meeting is Tuesday, March 11. Schlosser said that would be a good time to officially amend the calendar.

MCPS making progress in reading
A new study released recently says that 64 percent of Kentucky children are not reading at the level they should be by the time they enter the fourth grade. However, the Marion County Public School District had the lowest percentage of students in the state not reading at grade level at 41.1 percent.
The information comes from the National Assessment of Educational Progress, which uses a higher standard for proficiency than Kentucky’s state reading assessment test.

Test scores show promise
Marion County High School sophomores took the PLAN exam, which prepares students for the ACT exam and tests them in English, math and reading, and MCHS’s scores rank 78 out of 228 schools, which is in the top 34 percent.
All eighth grade students at St. Charles Middle School and Lebanon Middle School took the EXPLORE exam, which is the first part of a testing system that also includes the PLAN and the ACT. LMS ranked 23 out of 323 schools, which is the top seven percent in the state. SCMS ranked 181 out of 323 schools, which is in the top 56 percent.