Boise schools could end semester before Christmas break next year

The plan is to have the first semester end before winter break.

BOISE -- Administrators at the Boise School District announced Tuesday the fall semester could end before students leave for Christmas break beginning next school year.

The move would allow students to take their final exams before the break, rather than hold testing in January, after several weeks out of the classroom. Advocates for the change had argued that the later finals date left students less prepared to be tested on the material - particularly during last school year, when snow days on the heels of winter break extended the time between classroom instruction and the tests.

The school district had initially considered moving up the start date to earlier in August to allow for the change. But district officials now say that won't be happening. 

The 2018-2019 school year is set to begin Monday, Aug. 20, 2018, only one day earlier than the Tuesday, Aug. 20 start date this year.

MORE: Coalition fighting proposed Boise School District calendar change

“The District’s Calendar Committee has developed a revised proposal that delays the start of school until later in August. It still meets the needs of our parents, students and staff who understand the value of ending the first semester prior to the Holiday break,” Boise School District Superintendent Dr. Don Coberly said in a press release.

The district surveyed parents in May whether they would prefer the school year change or remain as set. Eighty-five percent of respondents were in favor of the change.

If approved, spokesman Dan Hollar says they plan to hold classes on two days in October that were originally scheduled as in-service days for staff. 

The proposal will be presented to the Idaho State Board of Education at a public meeting on October 9 at 6 p.m.

The current school year will be unaffected by the change, with the fall semester scheduled to end Jan. 19, 2018.

For the 2018-2019 school calendar, click here. 

© 2017 KTVB-TV


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