Alternate Calendar Presentation

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At the March 9 Waukee Board of Education meeting Susan Sandholm-Peterson and Andy Pal, calendar committee chairs, presented alternate 2015-16 school calendar recommendations.

School districts were notified in December of 2014 that the Iowa Department of Education would stop granting automatic waivers to school districts seeking to start classes earlier in the summer. The current law states that districts must start school no earlier than the calendar week that includes September 1.

Because legislation is currently under construction, the WEA Calendar Committee has prepared two alternative calendars. Committee members presented these calendars along with explanations. The Board will be asked to take action on a calendar later this spring once it is clear what the intent of the legislature is.

WEA Alternate Calendar Recommendations for 2015-16 School Year:

To view the proposed calendars click: Option 1 | Option 2

Calendar Component Proposed Date(s) Rationale
Option 1: School Start Date Monday, August 24, 2015 If the State Department of Education or the Iowa Legislature permits, the WEA committee suggests a Monday, August 24 start. This allows some additional days for high school students to prepare for AP exams in May and allows school to end closer to Memorial Day.
Option 2: School Start Date Monday, August 31, 2015 If the State Department of Education or the Iowa Legislature mandates a start date during the week of Sept 1, the WEA committee suggests a Monday, August 31 start to allow school to end as close to Memorial Day as possible.
Option 1: Winter Break Thur., Dec 24, 2015 through Fri., Jan. 1, 2016. Classes resume Mon., Jan. 4, 2016. Students would be on break from Dec. 24, 2015 through Jan. 1, 2016. Classes would resume and the second semester would start on Mon., Jan 15, 2016.
Option 2: Winter Break Thu., Dec. 24, 2015 through Fri., Jan. 1, 2016. Classes resume Mon., Jan. 4, 2016. Students would be on break from Dec. 24, 2015 through Jan. 1, 2016. Classes would resume and the second semester would start on Mon., Jan. 4, 2016.
Option 1: Spring Break March 21—March 25, 2016 Spring Break week would be placed March 21 to March 25, possibly a week later than other metro schools. This allows Quarter 3 to end and final exams days to occur, prior to Spring Break.
Option 2: Spring Break March 21—March 25, 2016 Spring Break week would be placed March 21 to March 25, possibly a week later than other metro schools. This allows Quarter 3 to end and final exams days to occur, prior to Spring Break.
Option 1: Fall Conferences To be determined Waukee Middle School, South Middle School, Prairieview and Timberline will schedule conferences on two evenings for the Fall and Spring semesters.Waukee High School will continue to schedule one conference evening per quarter.During their conference weeks in November and in March, elementary teachers will schedule individual conferences to fit parent schedules, but will have one common evening time and common time on an early dismissal day.
Option 2: Fall Conferences To be determined Waukee Middle School, South Middle School, Prairieview and Timberline will schedule conferences on two evenings for the Fall and Spring semesters.Waukee High School will continue to schedule one conference evening per quarter.During their conference weeks in November and in March, elementary teachers will schedule individual conferences to fit parent schedules, but will have one common evening time and common time on an early dismissal day.
Option 1: Spring Conferences To be determined A format similar as fall conferences would occur with spring conferences.
Option 2: Spring Conferences To be determined A format similar as fall conferences would occur with spring conferences.
Option 1: Teacher Work Days Work Days for all staff:

  • August 18,19,20,21
  • Mon., Oct. 26, 2015
  • Mon., Jan. 11, 2016
  • Fri., May 27, 2016
The Committee has placed only two Teacher Work Days during the school year in an effort to benefit student learning by facilitating end of quarter and semester dates and a school end date prior to Memorial Day.
Option 2: Teacher Work Days Work Days for all staff:

  • August 25,26,27,28
  • Mon., Nov. 2, 2015
  • Mon., Jan. 18, 2016
  • Fri., June 3, 2016
The Committee has placed only two Teacher Work Days during the school year in an effort to benefit student learning by facilitating end of quarter and semester dates, and a school end date as close to Memorial Day as possible.
Option 1: Teacher Quality Professional Day Mon., August 17, 2015 The Committee recommends placement of the Professional Development Day funded with Teacher Quality money on Mon., August 17 2015.
Option 2: Teacher Quality Professional Day Mon., August 24, 2015 The Committee recommends placement of the Professional Development Day funded with Teacher Quality money on Mon., August 24, 2015.

Due to the mandated school start date, these suggested calendars do not include some of the features which the Calendar Committee regards as optimal for student learning, such as a mid-week school start, ending Semester 1 prior to Winter Break, sufficient time for students to prepare for AP exams during Semester 2 and flexible Teacher Work Days to benefit teacher needs at all levels. These suggested calendars attempt to best facilitate student learning under the constraints of the imposed start date conditions.

Committee Members

  • Susan Sandholm-Petersen, Chairperson
  • Andy Pals–Chairperson
  • Katrina Lint
  • Jenifer Huyck
  • Emily Jamison
  • Kelli McClurg
  • Dr. Dave Wilkerson
560 Southeast University Avenue
Waukee, Iowa 50263
Phone 515.987.5161
Fax 515.987.2701