Proposal could mean earlier start to school year - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Proposal could mean earlier start to school year

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KTIV) -- A plan by the Sioux City Community Schools to shift the district's academic calendar could mean your kids are in class earlier in the summer.

Right now, the first semester is split up by winter break, leaving about two weeks of classes after the holidays. That means students with semester exams are tested after that long break.

Some in favor of the proposed change in the schedule say, the way it's set up now, some students spend the last part of the semester trying to re-learn what they learned earlier in the year. The district says the shift could provide a more cohesive learning environment.

"The students are finishing up before they go to that long break and then they're able to come back and start fresh. New classes or the next semester, next learning cycle of the class that they're in," says assistant human resources director Jill Knout.

There are potential drawbacks to the proposal. The second semester would be eight days longer than the first. One board member says the winter break provides a period of time for students to catch up on, and review what they've learned.

Another likely issue -- many families schedule vacation time the week before Christmas, when students would be taking finals under the new proposal.

"We would encourage parents not to do that, not to pull their students out, because they need to finish that up. It'd be more of a hardship to kind of arrange those finals at another time," Knout said.

The school board will also be watching Iowa lawmakers, who could pass legislation, limiting school start dates.

The board will vote on the proposal at the next meeting on February 8.

Online Reporter: Zech Tecklenburg

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