Superintendent Michael Lamb told trustees during their lunch meeting Friday, March 6, that the committee that drafted the calendar had discussed potentially changing the number of staff work days held prior to the first day of classes, but ultimately decided to once again recommend 8 days for staff preparation before classes begin.
Two extra teacher days were added in the fall semester to allow teacher to participate in elementary reading training offered during those times. Two days are built in at the end of the 2020-2021 school year as staff preparation days. Teachers did have two days they could use for training either in the summer or March. Those days are now factored into the calendar, with no early release days.
Trustee Craig Roberts said he’s served the last five years on the committee to develop the calendar and can attest, “there’s just not a lot of flexibility” for additional days during the regular calendar year.
New teachers will report for orientation Aug. 3-5, 2020, with all staff reporting for duty Aug. 6-7, Aug. 10-14 and Aug. 17. Staff preparation days for the fall semester are scheduled Sept. 18, Oct. 12 and Oct. 30, 2020. Staff days the spring semester will be Jan. 4-5, Feb. 15, March 15, April 12, May 17 and May 27-28 of 2021. In the event of bad weather days, teachers will make them up on June 1-2, 2021.
Students will report for classes beginning at 8 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 18. The school day for students from pre-kindergarten through fifth grade will end at 3:20 p.m. Middle and high school students’ school day will conclude at 3:30 p.m. The first nine week grading period will end on Oct. 9, the second on Dec. 18, the third on March 5. May 31 had been designated a Memorial Day holiday, which allows students to finish the spring semester on May 26. High school graduation will follow on May 28.
SSISD will no longer have a 4-day weekend for Easter. Good Friday, April 2, 2021, will still be a student holiday, but students won’t have that following Monday off due to a conflict with the testing schedule.
Instead of adding that holiday at another random time to provide a three for four day weekend, students will have Friday, Feb. 26, to allow students and staff to attend and be involved in NETLA’s Hopkins County Junior Market Livestock Show. Teachers had noted a lot of students out of classes on that day, which makes holding classes for the rest of the students difficult. Also, some staff have students who participate in the show, so substitutes have to be found for their classes or other arrangements made for their child.
Friday, Oct. 23 will also still be Fall Festival Day. The idea to remove that day had at one time in the past been considered. However, due to the heavy use of the high school for Fall Festival, that day will remain a holiday.
Additional school holidays for students include Nov. 23-27 for Thanksgiving break, Dec. 21-31 and Jan. 1-5 for Christmas break, Jan. 18 for Martin Luther King Day, March 8-12 for spring break and April 2 for Good Friday.
The calendar received unanimous approval from the school board at Friday’s regular March board meeting, held a few days early due to spring break.