Assignment: Education – Flexible Calendar Update

Request to start school before September 1 submitted

Starting school before September first could become a reality in parts of our area.

Seven area school districts are waiting for approval from the State School Superintendent.

Our area would be the first in the state to get this waiver for reasons other than construction projects or forces of nature.

These districts sent a letter last week asking the state if they could begin the school year in August of 2015.

The new calendar would include three intersessions, or breaks, throughout the school year. Each break would be five days long and run the week of October 19, February 1 and April 18, with the last day of school set for June 8.

La Crosse School District Associate Superintendent of Human Resources Steve Salerno says they hope the state will be able to look at their request within the next week, but they are unsure of when a decision will be made. If the seven districts are granted the waiver allowing them to start school before September 1, community members, like parents, teachers and businesses, will be able to weigh-in on the idea.

“We want to have some conversations with our community to see if this is something that meets everyone’s needs,” said Salerno. “I suspect we’ll go through a survey process with our families before the end of the school year. And, like we always do, convene a team of stakeholders to talk about what that schedule might look like for all of us.”

If the waiver is denied, the seven school district superintendents will meet to decide if they want to reconfigure the calendar and come up with an alternative. Or simply return to business as usual.