Alexandria School Board still pushing to start academic year earlier


After state officials made it clear they opposed an earlier start to Alexandrias public school year, the school board opted to push ahead with a slightly modified proposal in a 6-3 vote Thursday.

Board members learned the state superintendent of public instruction wouldn’t recommend the petition to start school before Labor Day in mid-April. Patricia Wright told Superintendent Morton Sherman that the proposal didnt meet the letter of the law.

I just disagree with her, Shermans said. This is an interpretation of the law. The law is not that definitive … It is not a letter of the law decision.

Faced with shelving the proposal for another year, board member Arthur Peabody argued in favor of offering their state-level counterparts a choice: move up the calendar for sixth through 12th grade students or ninth through 12th grade students. 

But that would leave parents and staff waiting well into May before learning when school would resume in the fall.

The board voted in favor of Peabody’s plan asking Sherman to test the waters prior to the state boards May 19 meeting but not before giving Richmond a few sharp words. Board Member Blanche Maness called the state superintendents decision political.

They are inhibitors and we know what we need for our children, she said. I think this is totally wrong. I think its awful for them to say we can’t make a decision until the third week of May.