MSD To See Changes Next Year

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File Photo: School Board President Pat Emory with former Board President Marvin Schelhouse.

Next school year will see several changes for the Milford School District. During the 2012-2013 school year the district will see a new Superintendent, the possibility of new start times for schools and two new School Board members.

Superintendent Search –

The search for a new Superintendent initially began in December 2011 when current Superintendent Sharon Kanter turned in her letter of intent to retire from the Milford School District due to personal issues. The Milford School Board of Education decided to choose a third-party consulting firm to assist with the Superintendent search. Given three choices of firms from around the country, The Board approved the use of the University of Delaware’s Institute for Public Administration for finding qualified candidates for the position.

Now scheduled for a mid-July completion date, the Superintendent search has proceeded longer than originally planned. In May the Institute for Public Administration reviewed applicants but with a lack of suitable candidates led to the decision to extend the process by one month.

“If everything goes to plan we should have a Superintendent selected by July 15,” commented Milford School Board President Pat Emory. “

According to Emory there have been several new, qualified candidates, both from Delaware and across the country, that are being considered by the Institute for Public Administration for the Superintendent position. In late June a list of recommended semi-finalists will be given to the Milford Board of Education and the School Board will interview candidates with a target date set for mid-July for the announcement of the new Superintendent.

New Start Times for MSD –

Over the last several years school officials have been working to find solutions to scheduling conflicts created by Professional Learning Communities [PLC] time requirements and Delaware Comprehensive Assessment System (DCAS) Testing. This school year students, teachers and parents at Milford Central Academy and Milford High School were introduced with new class scheduling that came to be known as A,B scheduling. The new system saw several scheduling issues and a task force of volunteer teachers and administrators was compiled last October to come up with a resolution. With a return to the block scheduling system, where students take an average of four classes Monday through Friday for 90 minutes for half of the school year, students, parents and teachers will see a familiar format in their classes.

The proposed change this year will effect the start times for each school in the Milford School District. While the proposal shows an earlier start time for the Banneker, Mispillion and Ross Elementary schools (7:40), the Milford Central Academy and High School will see later start times (8:20). To accommodate PLC times, the Milford Central Academy and High School students will see an even later start time on Wednesday mornings (9:25.)

Superintendent Sharon Kanter states that these changes are necessary for the success of PLC times, after school tutorial programs and more efficient busing methods. Citing research, Ms. Kanter also feels that the earlier start times for elementary students and later start times for teenage students will enhance students’ ability to learn and decrease disciplinary problems.

“We understand that people have concerns about these possible changes,” commented Ms. Kanter. “We have tried to be very creative with these solutions and welcome a public discussion.”

A public discussion will be held at the Milford School Board Meeting on Monday, June 25 at 7pm. The community is encouraged to attend and voice their opinions on the matter.

New School Board Members-

The last meeting of the 2011-2012 Milford School Boards will be held on Monday, June 24 at 7pm. Milford Residents Barry Fry and Eugene Rust will be sworn in as official 2012-2013 Milford School Board Members on Monday, July 9 in the Board Room at the Milford Middle School at 7pm. At-Large candidate Barry Fry won his election by a margin of 73.45% (570 out of a total of 776 votes) while Area “D” candidate Eugene Rust defeated Dean Johnson by a margin of 63.74% (443 out of a total of 695 votes). Rust and Fry will each serve 5-year terms on the Milford School Board.