A significant percentage of Affton School District parents, guardians and employees want to see teacher conference days held on national election days and that the school year should end before the Memorial Day weekend.
A total of 542 district residents responded to a survey on the Affton School District website that asked about these and other issues concerning the district calendar.
Participants were asked to rank their priorities on the question of when teacher conferences (off days for students) should be scheduled. Approximately 440 ranked national election day as their choice, while about 420 named three-day weekends as their choice, about 360 chose religious holidays and 300 chose local election days. The results provided were displayed on a bar graph; the exact figures were not given.
Other results found that:
• A vast majority thinks two-hour late start times should be retained for snow days and other emergencies;
• Most think the school year should end before Memorial Day;
• Most think spring break should last a full week;
• Most think exams should be scheduled before winter break.
Superintendent Travis Bracht said he will be meeting with a subcommittee to discuss the results of the survey. The results will be considered before the 2020-2021 school year calendar is finalized.
New School Year Enrollment Down For ECE
The school year that began Aug. 13 started with relatively the same number of students at the Affton District’s four main schools, but saw a notable dip in enrollment at the Early Childhood Education Center.
Enrollment at both Mesnier Primary School and Affton High School started off the year down slightly, while enrollment at Gotsch Intemediate School and Rogers Middle School is up, also slightly.
A total of 625 students are enrolled at Mesnier, down from 634. Gotsch has 628 enrolled (up from 607), Rogers has 579 (up from 573) and the high school has 794 (down from 797).
The ECE, which is starting its seventh year of operation, had 177 children enrolled in its full- and half-day programs on Aug. 20. That is down from 213 last year, a 16 percent drop.
Superintendent Bracht said the board and administration have not formally discussed the enrollment trends, let alone the dip at the ECE, which is tuition based.
“We did increase the number of classrooms at the ECE from five to six, but we really haven’t looked at the reason yet,” Bracht said.
District Communications Director Erica Chandler said enrollment has stayed “pretty steady across the district,” while noting that numbers during the early weeks of the school year are subject to change.