Members of the Seymour R-II Board of Education passed the calendar for the 2020-21 school year at its regular meeting on Thursday, Jan. 9.
And that calendar is significantly different than past ones.
For the current school year and all previous ones for many decades, students attended classes for 174 days.
When the next school year starts this August, students will attend only 161.5 days.
“The state has transitioned from school days into a total number of hours,” Superintendent Steve Richards explained. “In our 2020-21 (school) calendar, we are 41 hours over the state minimum (number of hours), which allows us to have six snow days built in to the calendar.
“Anything after six snow days, we’ll have to add days to the end of the calendar.”
The new school calendar includes six Fridays off and three Mondays off.
Classes will start at 8:10 a.m. at the middle school and high school versus the current 8:35 a.m. start time.
“Doing this adds about three to four minutes per class, per day, as that extra 25 minutes is spread out through each day,” Richards said.
He noted that the new school calendar is a modified version of the four-day school week that many districts in the state are implementing.
“That’s the actual title of our calendar ... a modified calendar,” Richards said.
Three days have been built in to the calendar for professional development.
“I feel the in-service days built into the calendar are very vital in building a positive school climate,” Richards noted. “Keeping our staff and students fresh with those Fridays and Mondays off also should increase our attendance.
“It also prepares our kids for the future. Many employers now have four-day work weeks.”
By quarter, the first quarter includes 37.5 days, the second quarter is 38.5 days, there are 44 days in the third quarter, while the fourth quarter has 41.5 days.
Classes for the 2020-21 school year begin later than usual on Tuesday, Aug. 25, with the final day of classes arriving on Tuesday, May 18, 2021.
A copy of the 2020-21 school calendar runs adjacent to this story for readers to save.