Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

March 15, 2014

Eastern will try fresh calendar

Year will start earlier, end later, breaks will be longer.

GREENTOWN — Eastern Howard School Corp. will roll out a new interpretation of the school year for 2014-15.

The board of education voted 3-2 Tuesday in favor of a nontraditional academic calendar that has classes starting earlier in August and includes longer breaks throughout the year. Board president Lisa Manfred and vice president Brian Day voted against the nontraditional calendar.

The board’s split vote is indicative of the mixed reaction the new calendar has drawn so far.

Superintendent Tracy Caddell recommended a traditional school calendar, but also shared with the board the idea of a nontraditional calendar and the growing staff support for it.

“We had done a staff survey, and in the past it’s come back with 20 [percent] to 30 percent for [the nontraditional calendar]. This year it bumped up to 65 percent of staff who wanted to try it,” Caddell said. “I support the board’s decision.”

The first day of school for students in the 2014-15 school year will be Aug. 4, which is moved up from what would have been the traditional start date of Aug. 12. Fall break, which was two days out of class this year, will be eight school days from Oct. 15 to 24 under the new calendar. Thanksgiving break will remain the same at three school days off and Christmas break will be the same length.

Spring break will potentially include 10 days off from school, compared to the traditional five days. The first four days of spring break could be used as make-up days, if needed, in addition to two other potential make-up days built into the calendar on Martin Luther King Day and President’s Day in 2015.

The last student day will be June 2, 2015, compared to ending classes May 30 this year. Graduation will be held June 7, 2015.

“We feel it will improve teacher and student attendance,” Caddell said. “By having those extended breaks, it may allow folks who plan doctor’s appointments and mini-vacations to take those outside of school hours.”

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