The board began discussing the possibility of a balanced calendar in November. A balanced calendar would essentially set up shorter summers, but longer breaks through the calendar year, particularly after the conclusion of grading periods.
However, on Thursday, the board voted 4-0-2 in favor of tabling the issue until February.
During Thursday's work session, Clay Community Schools (CCS) Assistant Superintendent Tim Rayle offered results from a corporation survey it had offered on its website.
Rayle said the survey tallied more than 2,000 responses, adding the results concluded approximately 71 percent of the community favored a balanced calendar.
Rayle said through research, CCS administration concluded a balanced calendar would provide students with "higher energy levels." He also said it would reduce teacher "burnout."
However, Rayle said some of the disadvantages of going to a balanced calendar would be setting up childcare after school.
Local resident Cathy Smith also said 4-H could be heavily affected since the Indiana State Fair would be going on during the beginning of the school year. Speaking for all involved in Clay County 4-H, Smith said she believed several students would miss the first of the year due to state fair obligations.
"We're not opposed to a balanced calendar, but maybe moving those days back," Smith said. "(4-H) is a family activity that is year-round. If we can just take a look and have some flexibility. If you would just consider if you go to a balanced calendar ... think about all those kids."
CCS Superintendent Kimberly Tucker said moving to a balanced calendar would allow the flexibility to change year-to-year.
But board member Amy Burke Adams said she was concerned about some of the changes a balanced calendar would bring and wanted more input from the community.
"I want to hear from parents and teachers," Adams said.
Smith also discussed the issue of the RISE Teacher Attendance policy and how teachers did not want to miss days for various reasons.
Board member Kevin Kumpf said he had spoken with several teachers about the calendar proposal.
"I feel like most of them are indifferent," Kumpf said. "But I probably had a lot more negative (responses) than positive. Right now, I don't think teachers could be positive about anything. I know teachers love to teach, but they're not happy about RISE."
However, Adams said the policy had to be implemented since it came from the state level.
"I still want to explore a balanced calendar," she continued. "But are we ready for it? There have been a lot of changes. I think (teachers') plates are full right now."
Later in the regular session, however, the subject was brought up again as Tucker asked the board for its approval to adopt the balanced calendar proposal for the 2013-14 school year.
Tucker asked the board to either move forward with the balanced calendar or keep the standard calendar. She explained there was not a lot of time regarding the situation.
"I just don't feel like we're ready for this folks," Scherb said. "I see too many problems."
Tucker said it was possible for the board to wait one month on the issue and collect more input, but a decision had to be made at least by February.
"We can't wait until March or April," board member Tom Reberger said.
Adams again stressed she wanted to see more input from the community and possibly set up a committee of residents to discuss the issue further.
Kumpf then asked what was essentially wrong with the standard calendar.
"Is the present calendar broken?" he asked. "Does it need fixed? If not, then why try to fix it?"
"I don't want to be rushed into something," Adams added.
Scherb then motioned to delay consideration of a balanced calendar for a year, with Kumpf providing the second. However, the vote was split with a 3-3 decision. Board member Rob Miller was not present at Thursday's meeting. Reberger then motioned to table the issue until the board's February meeting and asked that Tucker present another modified balanced calendar along with the current proposal as well as having the possibility of keeping the standard calendar on the table.
Board member Fred Froderman provided the second and the board voted 4-0-2, with Scherb and Adams abstaining.