Delph said, ““With schools still scheduling mid-August start dates, Hoosier families are deprived of valuable time – time that could be spent learning experientially and making lifelong memories together,” Delph said. “Today’s vote was a vital step in the process of giving families their summers back.”
Kruse said, ““In the past, early-August school start dates were reportedly needed to provide more time for teachers to prepare students for ISTEP-Plus testing in the fall,” Kruse said. “But since the test is now administered in the spring, ISTEP preparation is no longer a valid reason for schools to start so early. I believe it’s time parents, educators and lawmakers have a meaningful discussion about what’s best for Hoosier students when setting academic calendars.”
Schneider also believes the change is needed. He said, ““By making this slight adjustment to our school calendars, Indiana families could have more flexibility in scheduling summer family activities,” Schneider said. “Also, teachers could have more time for professional development and Indiana could see a growth in its tourism industry by extending the summer season.”
Daniel Tyree, superintendent of Plymouth Schools said, “It doesn’t matter to me, but I think parents should know about this bill.” He indicated that he would be sending an email to parents in the Plymouth system on the matter. Tyree said, “I have prepared a calendar that basically has no Fall Break, one week at Christmas, and no Spring Break. If that’s what people want, that’s fine with me, but they need to be aware.” “Since we have a lot of agri-business locally, it could be difficult for families to take vacations .It would deter the availability of vacations throughout the year.”
At the January Triton School board meeting, Superintendent Carl Hilling said they would be discussing the proposed changes in the discussion groups within the corporation.
Similar legislation was introduced in 2010 by Bremen resident and State Senator Ryan Mishler, one of the co-authors of Senate Bill 105. In a press release issued shortly after the bill passed the Senate in 2010, Mishler said, “This bill still maintains Indiana’s 180-day requirement of instructional days and provides locals school districts with flexibility in deciding a school end date in June.” Mishler contended that the flexibility would better suit the needs of parents, students and staff that plan vacations.
Thirteen states now have laws regarding school start dates, including several that require districts to start after Labor Day.
Carol Anders Correspondent