School will start two weeks later than initially planned for Wamego students.
The school board unanimously approved a calendar change Tuesday that will see sixth and ninth grade students start on Sept. 2 with all others except kindergarten and early learning starting Sept. 3. Early learning and kindergarten students will report Sept. 8.
Superintendent Tim Winter says it was necessary as the district prepares for a competency based learning plan.
“Essentially it’s a two-week later start to the school year. This will allow us three full weeks of preparation and planning,” he said.
The district is preparing for in person learning, but will be prepared if it has to switch to either a hybrid or all remote learning option, dependent on the health safety guidelines from state and local officials. Teachers and staff will be trained on a competency based learning model through the Fastbridge Learning System and will have contingencies in place for all modes of delivery for instruction.
Most school officials who spoke with the school board expressed confidence with the Fastbridge system.
Also approved was an early release proposal for all K-8 students who will be dismissed at 2 p.m. Fridays.
“This early release time on Fridays would give our grade level teams time to collaborate, touch base, check in, do further training on Fastbridge competency based instruction. We know there’s going to be more need for planning and collaboration time,” Winter said.
This also replaces the middle school’s Wednesday late start. Wamego High Principal Kale Katt told the board the proposal is a good one.
“I think what they’re proposing, 35 minutes is going to be huge for these elementary level teachers. If we pull this off, if we do this right, we’re going to set the foundation for what education could look like in 2050, and that’s exciting to think about,” he said.
Additional calendar adjustments include classes on the Monday and Tuesday prior to Thanksgiving and Martin Luther King Day, Jan. 18 will be a holiday for students and staff. Good Friday and the Monday after Easter will also be holidays. The last day of classes will be May 25, 2021, one day earlier than originally planned.
Winter says the new calendar keeps the state mandated 185 days in class.