Education

Now’s your chance to tell district what you think of school calendar

Some people have said that the longer school days in the Wichita district may be too long for young students in elementary school.
Some people have said that the longer school days in the Wichita district may be too long for young students in elementary school. File photo

Wichita school district leaders want feedback from students and parents about a new academic calendar that trimmed three weeks from the school year and made school days 30 minutes longer.

An online survey – http://bit.ly/schoolength – asks respondents to offer feedback on several aspects of this year’s calendar, which was changed as a budget-cutting measure. Officials estimate the change saved about $3 million.

Recently, parents, teachers and others have said the transition has been more challenging than expected. Some say the elementary school day, which ends at 4:40 p.m., is too long for young children.

Others have said they like starting school later in August and having longer breaks over Thanksgiving and Christmas.

“As the district prepares to develop both the 2017-18 calendar and budget, stakeholder feedback is critical,” district spokeswoman Susan Arensman said in an e-mail.

The survey posted Tuesday asks respondents to gauge their level of agreement with several aspects of the new calendar, including longer school days, a shorter school year and longer breaks. Questions include topics such as after-school traffic, extracurricular activities, earlier graduation ceremonies, budget concerns, recess and homework.

The final question: “Considering the positives and negatives of the calendar change, if given the choice which calendar option would you prefer for next year?”

The deadline for responding to the survey is 5 p.m. on March 8.

Feedback will be shared with school board members and district leaders as they craft next year’s school calendar and budget, Arensman said.

Suzanne Perez Tobias: 316-268-6567, @suzannetobias

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