USD 259 keeping same school calendar for 2017-2018

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WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Wichita schools will have the same school calendar as last year.

In Monday night’s board of education meeting, the board voted 6 to 1 to keep the school year shorter and the days longer.

It’s been a controversial issue as many parents are not happy with the longer school day.

They say it cuts into extracurricular activities.

While this year’s calendar year has tacked on an additional 30 minutes to each day, it’s saved the district about $3 million dollars.

One parent says she worries it will ultimately take away from her kid’s learning.

“My main concern is to see a structure of the days next year. We need to allow our children to have the time to enjoy education, enjoy school, have a love for learning,” explained Katie Dexter.

The school board will be discussing the start time issues at the next board meeting.

The superintendent says bus transportation is a major factor.

Board president Sheril Logan said Sunday the calendar will not differ much from this year’s calendar.

“This is just such a different kind of year. With not knowing our budget and we may not know our budget for several months yet, but we have to go on and get school ready,” Logan said.

Logan says it’s a little later in the year than usual to look at the calendar for next year but attributes that to all the unknown schools faced in Topeka this year at the legislative level. A survey went out to parents earlier in the year which proved parents were overwhelmingly not in support of proposed changes.

“We are cutting some days off and lengthening our day and we know that’s not what our community is, there’s some concern about that one but for one year we may have to live with this calendar and then next year make some changes,” Logan said.

Band students at Coleman Middle School held a car wash fundraiser on Sunday afternoon to raise money for a field trip to Worlds of Fun. Several students said they currently go to the band room after school and hang out, do homework or practice their instrument. Band director Ashten Anderson would prefer reverting to last year’s schedule.

“I personally think that we should go back to the schedule we did last year which was even 30 minutes less than we have this year. Giving us that extra length, the kids are hungry at the end of the day. That’s when they’re used to getting their after school snack, I have a hard time getting my last hour to focus this year so I’d like the old schedule back,” Anderson said.

Student musicians tend to suffer with longer breaks in their time at school because they can’t practice as a group and gear up for performances.

“I think that would impact how much time we have to do our school work like outside of school. Like if we miss a day or we have longer school days, at home it’s like doubled,” Jamyaaih Potts, eighth grader said.


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