Boise schools offer up compromise in school calendar debate

Boise School District officials announced Tuesday they revised the district’s calendar and are now proposing to start the 2018-19 school year on Aug. 20. This date still needs board approval.

Tuesday’s announcement follows a months-long debate over school calendars and the length of summer break. The debate attracted the attention of state lawmakers, lobbyists, county officials, dozens of parents and some private businesses, including a local waterpark.

Tuesday’s announcement also represents something of a compromise. District leaders sought additional public feedback after announcing a tentative start date of Aug. 15. The new Aug. 20 date just pushes the start day back by three school days, from a Wednesday to the following Monday.

“The district’s calendar committee has developed a revised proposal that delays the start of school until later in August,” Superintendent Don Coberly said in a news release Tuesday. “It still meets the needs of our parents, students and staff who understand the value of ending the first semester prior to the holiday break.”

District officials will present the newly revised proposed calendar to the local school board on Oct. 9.

Under the latest proposal, the first semester would end Dec. 21, with students being released early that day. After winter break, classes would resume Jan. 7.

The school year would end May 24, 2019, under the latest calendar proposal.

In recent months, a social media advocacy group calling itself Save Idaho Summers formed to oppose the earlier proposed start date, launching an online petition that has garnered 1,756 supporters.

The Idaho Statesman has reported that the Wahooz Family Fun Zone/Roaring Springs water park headed up that campaign.


Clark Corbin

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