Minutes — not days — added to school schedule

Sunday Times Newspapers

SOUTHGATE — Twelve minutes isn’t all that much in the course of a day, and beginning Monday will be the only schedule change for some Southgate students after a winter that included more snow days than most years.

Southgate Community School District Supt. William Grusecki said that beginning tomorrow students at Davidson Middle School and Anderson High School will face days extended by 12 minutes, enough to reach the required number of hours for the year.

Grusecki said nine days have been cancelled this academic year, but there was no need to extend the calendar past the scheduled June 13 final day.

“We had to make some internal adjustments,” Grusecki said. “We had enough days, but had to build in some minutes to get to the 1,098 hours required.”

The added hours will only apply to the middle and high schools, he said.

“The hours were OK at the elementary schools,” Grusecki said. “We had a cushion. Starting Monday the two schools will dismiss 12 minutes later than normal.”

All things considered, Grusecki said the harshest winter in a lifetime didn’t take too much of a toll on the schools.

“We got through it better than I thought,” Grusecki said. “It was hard for districts everywhere. Flat Rock had multiple burst pipes, but we didn’t have any major blowups.”

The soon-completed 2013-14 academic year brings to an end the first full year of a downsized district, which Grusecki said had posed an unknown number of challenges nine months ago.

Decreasing enrollment in recent years had long posed budgetary issues to the district — which had previously eliminated bus transportation, closed the Anderson High School pool and privatized janitorial services — and last year marked the closing of three buildings: Gerisch Middle School and Chorrman and North Pointe elementary schools.

The first few weeks of the new-look district were hectic, Grusecki said, but faculty, staff and students alike quickly adjusted.

“Once the year got going and the kids were in class, everything settled down,” Grusecki said.

The approaching end to the school year will also bring the end of Grusecki’s tenure at Southgate, capping a three-decade career. Beginning in fall 2014 the superintendent’s job will be held by Anderson High School Principal Leslie Hainrihar.

“It’s getting close,” Grusecki said of his final day on May 30.

(James Mitchell can be reached at jmitchell@bewickpublications.com.)