Bass Lake schools consider ‘sept-mester’ format

By Bridget Venkin | Temporary School News Desk Part-Timer

School board transcriptionist Maggie Trout-Lane outlines a new school-year concept. From left, chalkboard, her.

Bass Lake School Board of Education is considering a change from semesters to sept-mesters, beginning with the 2017-18 school year.

The plan would divide the academic year into seven 26-day segments, with 6.3 additional cumulative days set aside for weather delays and long-distance travel for faculty training-and-entertainment excursions.

According to an informal survey conducted on deadline, several school administrators, quite a few teachers, four parents and two students back the proposal, as a way to expand academic options and maximize curriculum flexibility, while not only decreasing school-closure periods from weeklong segments throughout the year to “mini-breaks” taken more frequently, but also as a way to do all of those things and more.

“I fully support this proposal,” one of the board members said at this week’s monthly meeting.

Although regional education laws mandate that schools operate on either a semester or trimester system, Bass Lake school board members believe a 7-section school year is worth the effort.

“What is a ‘mandate,’ anyway?” said board president Simon Greenless. “No, seriously, what’s the definition?”

The board eventually approved the measure, 5-1, with the lone “no” vote cast by Felix Anger, who supports the idea, but suggests calling it “hept-mester” instead.

“I mean, come on, people!” he shouted.

Next, the plan moves to the school’s advisory committee, which meets once every seven months.

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