2020-21 School Calendar
June 15, 2020
Last week the district reached out seeking input regarding a proposed change to the 2020-21 school calendar that would add five additional days. We would like to thank everyone that took time to provide feedback, the high response rate helps us truly understand your wants and how this decision impacts families.
Of the 386 electronic responses, 77.2% of respondents indicated that they are in support of the proposed change. This feedback, including comments, was compiled and shared with our Board of Education tonight during a public hearing where in-person feedback regarding the calendar was also welcome. Following the hearing, the Board of Education took action on the proposal, voting in favor of an August 17 start date. The newly revised 2020-21 school calendar can be viewed below.
We’d like to provide information regarding how these additional days will be used and the district's overall approach at closing potential learning gaps.
In May, teachers identified the essential Iowa Core Standards that were not directly taught due to our school closure and then met in vertical teams to discuss. Through this collaboration, our teachers developed plans to collect initial data at the beginning of the 2020-21 school year that will determine student learning needs. An additional week with students will allow our teachers to accelerate learning and spend the three weeks prior to Labor Day closing gaps on the identified essential standards that continue to build into the next grade or content area class. The goal is not to try to re-teach all of the standards that weren’t taught in-person last year, but instead ensure students have the baseline knowledge needed to build upon going forward in the 2020-21 school year.
Additionally, teachers and counselors will also work to identity and address any social or emotional needs of students. Time will be set aside each day during those first few weeks to foster community with students and build relationships.
As indicated in our note last week, and after reviewing survey responses, we understand an earlier start date will cause schedule issues for some families. Our staff is committed to working with individual families through these challenges to ensure all students’ needs are met.
We are asking that families continue to be flexible and understanding as the district navigates these challenges. With questions regarding specific needs, we encourage families to reach out to your student’s building principal.