District wide school day schedule to change

Elise Keller

Principal Matt Irvin prepares a presentation to students over options for where to place additional 15 minutes in the 2020-2021 school year. Photo by Elise Keller.

Due to Missouri legislature, the school day and school year will be slightly altered.

The 2020-2021 school year will begin on Aug. 24, two weeks later than the 2019 year, and end on May 28, one week later than the 2019 year.

Because of this shift, the school day will be extended.

“Our board recently approved the ‘20-21 calendar which will still get us out right before Memorial Day. The feedback received by the calendar indicated people favored getting out at that time and keeping a longer winter break at the expense of a few minutes added to the day,” superintendent John Simpson said.

According to principal Matt Irvin, “What we are doing is starting later in compliance with state statutes but not getting out later, then the choice becomes do you take away vacation days or add time to the school day, which is what many schools are doing, including Webster Groves.”

The additional minutes will be “20 at K-6, 18 at 7-8, and 15 at 9-12,” according to Simpson.

Late start Mondays will be affected but will not be removed.

“Depending on where we add 15 minutes at the high school, maybe the time of the late start will change, but not the late start itself,” Simpson said.

Irvin is looking at five options on what to do with the additional minutes, and is holding meetings with students and administration to finalize the decision.

Recently, rumors have arisen that threaten teachers’ plan periods.

“DESE (Department of Elementary and Secondary Education) is in the process of revising its model for accreditation, and one of the current things up for consideration is eliminating a guaranteed 250 minutes of plan time per week for full time teachers. This doesn’t mean that teachers across the state will lose that plan time, but it does mean that it’s no longer protected,” Simpson said.

Elise Keller – Editor in Chief

This will be Elise Keller’s third year on ECHO staff, but she made several contributions while taking journalism class her freshman year.

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