During their meeting Monday night, the St. James School Board approved contracts for four new teachers for the 2014-2015 school year as well as a calendar for the 2014-2015 academic year.

The high school had four vacancies to fill, said principal Ted Simon. They are still looking to hire a physical education teacher. They offered the position to three applicants, but each took another job before St. James could get a contract into their hands.

“(Physical education teachers) are a well sought-after commodity,” Simon said. They’ve had more than ten applicants already, and he was looking over two more qualified applicants as of Monday night’s meeting.

The most contentious aspect of the calendar was how to structure the days when time is set aside for teachers to hone their craft.

When this idea was first hatched, a majority of teachers supported late starts on Monday’s, rather than early dismissals on Wednesday’s, said Superintendent Becky Cselovski. And this calender will again stick with the late starts on Monday’s rather than “early-out’s” on Wednesday’s.

Parents who responded to a recent surgery also preferred the Monday model 55 percent to 45 percent, she added. Multiple board members did express a desire to revisit the issue with teachers before the next calender was drawn up, but this version for 2014-2015 passed unanimously.

For details on the rest of Monday's meeting, as well as more information on the new high school teachers, please pick up a copy of today's print version of the St. James Plaindealer.