WEST LIBERTY – West Liberty-Salem Local Schools officials are considering a permanent change to the school calendar.
Over the past couple of years, the district added hours to school days to accommodate a school building project, so construction of major parts of the project could be done during the summer. District officials also add hours to school days to make up time during particularly bad winters.
Superintendent Kraig Hissong told the school board Tuesday that administrators, teachers and community members seem to largely like the altered school calendar. He plans to present the potential change to the teachers union during contract negotiations.
“It was something we wanted to look at, to see if there was a possible way to continue to extend the school days,” he said. “If anything it has had an improvement on test scores over the past couple of years.”
Hissong said he wouldn’t consider changing the calendar if it impacted test scores negatively. The only concern is having school start later in the year, which gives less time before state tests.
The potential change would have the school year end at the end of May, and students would be back in school the Tuesday after Labor Day in September.
The extended days still put students in school longer than the minimum amount of hours required by the state, he said.
Hissong added this is only in discussion; a decision has not been made to change the calendar. The school calendar must be approved by the school board.
Board Vice President Chuck Buck said he knows the community likes the extended days. And Board Member Pat Adams said it could save the district operational costs by reducing the number of days students are in session.
Casey S. Elliott may be reached at 937-652-1331 ext. 1772 or on Twitter @UDCElliott.