Nearly 31,000 students and their parents will adjust to a new calendar during the 2015-16 school year, Fort Wayne Community Schools officials announced Wednesday.
By adjusting school calendars, the district will end the first semester before winter break and will be able to better adjust to weather-related cancellations, officials said.
“We've talked about this for a long time, but this year with the weather that we had, it really made us take another look at the calendar,” FWCS spokeswoman Krista Stockman said.
The school calendar for next year has not changed, Stockman said.
But beginning in 2015-16, the first day of school will be one week earlier, allowing the district to end the first semester of classes before winter break.
To balance the number of days in each semester, the first day of school will begin on a Tuesday, the district said. The last day of school will be in late May, as opposed to early June.
The new calendar also adds a third make-up day that will continue for most years. The make-up day will be at the end of the third quarter in March. In 2015-16, the new make-up day is scheduled for March 11 with two additional make-up days in May.
If state testing conflicts with the schedule, the dates will be adjusted, officials said.
“This winter has reminded us that sometimes there are circumstances that are beyond our control, and we need to be adaptable to make sure we continue to provide the best education possible for our students,” Superintendent Wendy Robinson said in a statement.
This school year, final exams for high school students and other end-of-semester events had to be pushed back a week because of the January snowstorms, she said.
The delayed end of the semester also meant parent-teacher conferences scheduled for the end of January had to be canceled because students had just started the second semester, Robinson said.
“With the extreme weather we experienced this year, we knew it was time to adjust our calendar to ensure first semester ended before winter break,” she said. “Adjusting our calendar will prevent this from being an issue in the future.”