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School year may start earlier in Oswego district

Updated: March 15, 2013 1:26PM



Students in the Oswego School District will likely head back to class a little earlier this August, and, barring any extreme weather, they could finish the 2013-14 school year before Memorial Day.

The Oswego School Board took its first look at the 2013-14 school year calendar this week.

Superintendent Matthew Wendt said that among the priorities in making the calendar were balancing the semesters between breaks, so that students do not return from a two-week winter break and then take final exams, and to eliminate shortened attendance days.

Under the proposed calendar, students would start school on Aug. 19, a Monday.

The district’s second quarter would end on Dec. 20, just before winter break, and the last day of school would be held May 22, 2014, the Thursday before Memorial Day.

School Board president Bill Walsh said that while he would not vote against the proposed calendar, “I just don’t like starting this early and ending this early.”

The calendar includes only three early-dismissal days, two in November to accommodate parent-teacher conferences, and the last day of second quarter, Dec. 20. Teacher institute days would be limited to the beginning and end of semesters.

By contrast, the calendar for the current school year includes 10 early dismissal or five-hour attendance days.

And parent-teacher conference days would look different, too. They would take place over the course of three days each semester. Students would continue to attend school and teachers would work in time to talk with parents during those school days. Teachers also would have an additional evening when they would be expected to be available to meet with parents.

“Not very many people are all that pleased with how traditional parent-teacher conference day is set up, so we were trying to build some flexible time into the calendar for the faculty to use the time to benefit the relationships they have with individual parents,” Wendt said.

“The fact of the matter is we have a number of parents on different shifts, working third shifts, and a teacher may need to meet with them at 7 o’clock in the morning.”

Students will be in school a total of 175 days under the proposed calendar, the same number of days as the current school year.

The School Board is expected to vote on the calendar at its next meeting, at 7 p.m. Feb. 25, at Oswego East High School, 1525 Harvey Road, Oswego.



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