Bay Village Schools propose earlier start and end to school year to accommodate high school block schedule

Bay High School students will benefit from extra instructional days, and a first semester without interruption, before they take course finals and state end-of-course exams prior to their Winter break next school year, report Bay Schools in a press release today.

The proposed calendar for the 2018-19 school year begins about one week earlier than the current year, with students’ first day scheduled for Thursday, August 16. It also ends about one week earlier, with the last student day on Thursday, May 30, making June 2019 totally devoid of school days for both students and teachers.

“The earlier start makes the instructional time before all the tests more equitable for first-semester students,” said Clint Keener, Superintendent of Schools. Bay High is on a block schedule, with full courses completed in one semester during longer class periods, much like college courses. “Our educators have indicated this is the best decision for students who need to do well on their exams to insure they graduate on time.”

Keener said the decision was a difficult one, knowing that many parents prefer a later start to the school year. “Our parent survey a couple years ago shows that, in general, parents prefer we start school after Labor Day,” he said. “But keeping all schools on the same schedule is a priority because many high school families have students at other schools.” He noted that all classrooms in the district now have air conditioning, making an earlier start a more reasonable alternative.

Keener said that the decision was being made later than usual because many alternatives were explored by educators and administration. “We much prefer to give parents earlier notice of the next year’s calendar, but this was a tough one,” he said. “We needed the time to work it out.” The calendar was presented at the school board’s Monday, December 18 meeting and has been revised slightly since to make the Winter break a full two weeks for students and end school a day earlier in May.

Keener said he expects to hear from many parents about the proposal, either at scheduled school board meetings or through calls and email. The board of education will receive the proposed calendar at its meeting tonight. It will be placed on the Monday, January 22, Bay Village Board of Education agenda for approval.

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