MAPLETON, Maine — SAD 1 school board members recently approved a change to the school calendar to accommodate the 2011 Biathlon World Cup being held Feb. 4-6 at the Nordic Heritage Center in Presque Isle.
Friday, Feb. 4 was originally scheduled as an in-service day for teachers, with no classes for students that day.
But after the 2010-11 school calendar was adopted, board members learned that the International Biathlon Union had scheduled the event at the Nordic Heritage Center. A biathlon combines rifle marksmanship with cross-country skiing.
Since SAD 1 students have attended the 2004 Fort Kent World Cup, as well as the 2006 Presque Isle Biathlon World Junior Championships, district officials thought it would be appropriate to modify the school calendar giving teachers the opportunity to take their students to the 2011 event if they desire.
“Our teachers have been very supportive of the biathlon events in the past and use it in their curriculum,” said Superintendent Gehrig Johnson. “Classes have adopted athletes, they learn about the countries that the athletes are from, and then they go to the event and cheer on the athletes. I was asked if we would consider making the change, and educationally it makes sense. It doesn’t have a big bearing on our school year.
“What the change would mean is that we would be in session Feb. 4 and the students would get out one day earlier in June, and the staff would be in service on that last day or possibly on a Saturday,” he said. “I think it would be in our best interest — educationally — to make that change and it would certainly help the World Cup organizers in a big way also.”
Barring any storm make-up days, the last day of school is now Tuesday, June 7, for students in pre-kindergarten to grade 8 and Tuesday, June 14, for high school students.