MCCSC makes changes to 2013-16 calendar

Year to start earlier, breaks to be extended

The Monroe County Community School Corporation Board of Trustees voted Tuesday to pass new academic calendars for the 2013-16 school years, despite parents in attendance voicing opposition to the new design.

With the current schedule, students will begin classes Aug. 7 this year and conclude May 22, 2014, as opposed to starting Aug. 13 and ending May 24 .

With the new schedule, students would end classes and take final exams before winter break, rather than coming back to exams in January.

Board member Lois Sabo-Skelton said there has been just as much positive feedback as negative.

She said the board usually sets the calendar each year, which leaves families little time to plan their schedules. Now, the next three years are planned out.

“I think it made a lot of sense,” she said.

Sabo-Skelton said many parents have contacted her saying they are content with the new arrangement, but some international families say it will be harder for them to return to their home countries during the summer months.

She added that the board and the calendar committee have done lots of research on the best ways to teach students.

Sabo-Skelton said some parents were concerned about the week-long break at Thanksgiving, stating MCCSC students didn’t need the additional time. They will also have a fall break in October which consists of a four-day weekend.

She said studies have shown breaks usually help both students and teachers.

“I think it’s brilliant,” Sabo-Skelton said.

She said this problem was a concern for many people during her eight years on the board.

The board tried to follow the IU schedule as closely as possible because many people involved with the MCCSC are also involved with IU. Following the IU schedule is difficult because MCCSC students attend classes on about 180-185 days, whereas IU students attend about 160 days of school.

Parents, students, principals and more were involved with the creation of the new calendar, Sabo-Skelton emphasized that the board was not making changes to satisfy anything but children’s needs.

“We’re doing this for the students,” she said.

— Sydney Murray

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