Could School Start in Mid-August? District Exploring Calendar Changes

In this week's video, Superintendent Chris Richardson talks about the district's exploration of a "balanced calendar," which could see the school year start in mid-August and end around Memorial Day.

Editor's note: The school district will host three public meetings to discuss the proposed calendar changes with the community.

UPDATED: Friday, Jan. 11: The district has released more information about the proposed calendar, including start and end dates of the school year.


In this week's video, Superintendent Chris Richardson talks about the district's exploration of a "balanced calendar," which could see next school year start in mid-August and end around Memorial Day.

The focus of the balanced calendar, according to Richardson, would be to "align instructional periods, reduce shortened weeks and holiday interruptions, and increase instructional days prior to high stakes assessments to aid retention of learning and reduce re-teaching and review."

Richardson and the Northfield School Board are in early discussions about next year's calendar and will have one finalized in the spring. Before a calendar is finalized, there needs to be three public hearings and it has to be approved by the Minnesota Department of Education.

Should the district settle on this type of calendar, Richardson said students will have the same amount of days in school as they do now.

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Sara Liebl January 14, 2013 at 04:01 PM
The proposal is actually 3 weeks early vs the traditional tuesday after Labor Day. What would be the cost of starting 3 weeks early and can our current cooling systems adequate enough to keep the buildings cool in the dog days of August when the are filled with students and staff?
Sara Liebl January 14, 2013 at 04:04 PM
Why would you not mention St. Dominics? They are school within the district. The 7th and 8th graders spend part of their day at the middle school and the kids that attend St. Dominic ride the same buses as the public school. They are a school within the district and should be considered. The schedule affects them just as it does any other student within the district.
Sara Liebl January 14, 2013 at 04:14 PM
Nicole my youngest two (5 and 7) are the bus for an hour and a half on the days I am not able to get to school to pick them up. Granted they are St. Dom's kids, but there are two busses that leave St. Dom's at 2:35 and my kids do not get home until after 4 pm. I als have a child in middle school who is on just over an hour each afternoon and one at Sibley who is on for just shy of an hour in the evening. This does include there 45 - 1 hour commute each morning. When it is hot they are completey exhausted and crabby when they get off that bus.
Mosquito January 14, 2013 at 04:28 PM
Sure they're a school within the district, but they're not a public school. St. Dominics is a private school and they can do whatever they want with their school calendar. If they like their current calendar they're free to keep it. If they want to have school every other day and twice on Saturdays, they can do that. If they want to align themselves with the public schools, that's good too. The district should base their decisions on the well-being of the public school students. A private school should not dictate the calendar because they don't want to provide air conditioning any more than they should dictate the hours of the school day because they don't want to have to turn on the lights.
nicole Linder January 14, 2013 at 04:41 PM
Hey Mosquito, The board needs to listen to all the people that pay taxes in this community. That is what supports our schools. St. Dominic is a school that provides a benefit to the community. They also have a working relationship with the public schools. Of course they are a consideration. Just like the charter schools in town. We are all working together to educate children in this town.


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