Mid-Prairie may adjust calendar

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Mid-Prairie administrators are recommending a slight adjustment to the district’s 2020-21 calendar.

At Monday’s school board meeting, Superintendent Mark Schneider said that administrators are looking to start the school year a day early.

“We would like to revise the school calendar a little bit,” Schneider said. “Instead of starting on Tuesday the 25th, we’d go ahead and start on Monday the 24th.”

The calendar approved by the school board earlier this year has the first day of school on Tuesday, Aug. 25 and the last day of school on May 28, 2021.

The change also would move the last day of school to May 27.

“By law, (Aug. 24) is the earliest possible date that we could start,” Schneider said. “The governor had said we could start before Aug. 24, but if we do, it doesn’t count toward the 1,080 hours or the 180 school days.”

He said that administrators “threw around” the possibility of starting school a week early.

“That would have given us some time to play with,” Schneider said. “What prevents us from doing that is the teacher contracts.

“Unless there is a secret pot of money that we can use to pay a lot of teachers to be here extra days, it’s just not economically feasible to do that.”

In addition, early-out days in August and September would be changed to full school days.

“The reason being is we feel because of the way the school year ended, that would give an extended period of continuous learning time,” Schneider said. “We could use some of that time for student assessment and find out where gaps are.”

Board Vice President Jeremy Pickard said, “I’m in complete favor of the changes. I think those are both great recommendations.”

Schneider said he plans to send out a parent survey about the changes next week.

“What we would like to do next week is send out a parent survey on the proposed calendar to get some feedback as we get serious about planning for the beginning of August,” he said.

He plans to present the calendar changes to the board for approval at the July 13 meeting.

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