Wichita families learned last week that the last day of school — May 16 — will be a half day instead of a full day for all students.
High-schoolers will have half days May 15 and 16, when they will take final exams.
District officials said the calendar change will allow Wichita teachers to take advantage of a provision in this year's contract that lets them skip non-teaching duty days if they have students' grades and other paperwork submitted beforehand. Teachers still will get paid for the day.
"There are many checkout procedures that teachers and staff complete at the end of the school year, in addition to finishing and finalizing students' grades," said Susan Arensman, spokeswoman for the Wichita district.
"The half day will allow more time for those procedures to be completed as they get ready for the summer break."
This year's calendar, approved about a year ago, includes a non-teaching duty day on May 17.
In phone calls and e-mails to families last week, Wichita superintendent Alicia Thompson announced the change but not the reason for it. She said schools' dismissal times on the last day will vary depending on their start times.
District spokeswoman Wendy Johnson said the change hasn't created any major problems.
Some schools plan special last-day activities, such as kindergarten graduation ceremonies, field days or picnics. "Those will just be rescheduled," Johnson said.