District 833 school calendar changes may be aheadBoard could consider modified schedule
By: Judy Spooner, South Washington County Bulletin
District 833 schools this fall will start, as they always have, on the day after Labor Day.
But there might be some changes in 2014, as South Washington County School Board members gave Superintendent Keith Jacobus the go-ahead to consider modifying the school calendar.
In the meantime, the 2013-14 school year will begin Sept. 3. Winter break will be from Dec. 23 through New Year’s Day and spring break will be March 10-14. The school year will end June 6, 2014.
Informally, Jacobus suggested that there are alternatives to expand the calendar. Not all schools would have to have the same schedule, he said during a School Board meeting last week. Board members said they are open to considering changes.
Board member Jim Gelbmann who said the traditional calendar gets more difficult to deal with as Labor Day goes further into the month of September. Also, schools that could be very warm into June are now cooled with dehumidified air so the year could extend further into June.
Year-round school could be an option for one or more schools, Gelbmann said. It’s good for learning but has been hard to gain parent acceptance.
Lost learning happens during summer months and teachers must take time to review each fall.
“I’d like to give parents a choice,” he said.
In the past, parents strongly objected to a year-round calendar, said board member Marsha Adou.
Adou wants a longer school year, “but I won’t get that,” she said. “It’s a waste of time to remediate. But I don’t want kids to think they’d be in school all year long.”
Jacobus said a number of schedules are possible with a number of two-week vacations during the year.
Board members Tracy Brunnette and Laurie Johnson said they would consider alternate calendars.
Many families are already involved in extended school years because their children are in summer learning programs, said board member Katy McElwee-Stevens.