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Earlier Start To School Year Approved

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By Joel Stevens, Associate Editor

 The Glenwood Community Schools will start classes two weeks earlier in August than it did for the 2013-14 school year.

The Glenwood School Board voted unanimously Friday to move up the start of school for grades 3-12 to Aug. 13 and Aug. 14 for grades K-2 for the 2014-2015 school year. The current school year began Aug. 26 for grades 3-12 and Aug. 27 for K-2.

Glenwood Superintendent Devin Embray said the 2013-14 start was one of the district’s latest in recent memory. The district decided to move up the start of the 2014-15 school year, he said, to end the first semester prior to the start of the holiday break, to align the end of first semester classes with the opening of Iowa Western Community College classes and because a late start last August inhibited the start of district activities, especially at the middle school, which cannot begin extra curricular activities until the first day of school.

“They had to re-arrange many of the schedules for the middle school due to our late start and with very few schools in the Hawkeye 10 starting as late,” Embray said, adding the earlier start will allow school activities, including fall sports and extra-curricular, to be more in line with the start of school.

Embray expects there will be some fallout from parents about the earlier start but there were no public objections to the calendar at Friday’s meeting.

“We do have parents on our committee that makes the recommendation (of the schedule) to the board,” Embray said.

“The curriculum committee met Feb. 19 for over two hours to discuss the new calendar. Since there was not a consensus in the committee’s vote on the calendar, the schedule had to be approved by the school board. That’s not unusual,” Embray said.

“There’s rarely consensus because the elementary and the secondary (schools) are at different view points,” he said.

Two snow days are built into the 178-day school schedule. The last day of school will be May 21, 2015.

Embray said the district is considering further changes to the calendar, including combining spring conferences with the Easter holiday break. The matter has been tabled until the March school board meeting.