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.
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“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.