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Board to review school calendar

By Joe Beck -- jbeck@nvdaily.com

FRONT ROYAL -- Warren County Public Schools officials hope to hear from parents as administrators plan next year's school calendar.

The three proposals presented to the School Board on Thursday night differ little from this year's calendar, spanning Aug. 29 to June 13. But Greg Drescher, assistant superintendent for instruction, made it clear that he hopes board members and the public will consider a start date in early August, which would move the final day of classes to around June 1.

"The earlier we start in August, the earlier we get out in June. We're interested in finding out what people think about that," Drescher said Friday.

Student psychology is the reason Drescher thinks an early August-early June calendar is worth considering.

"Students are always more ready to come back to school in August than stay in school in June," he said.

Drescher said absenteeism spikes in June, and teachers agree that it becomes much harder to hold pupils' attention as summer nears.

"There's just something about that June date that kids are ready to be done," Drescher said.

Board members responded cautiously to Drescher's comments Thursday night about an early August-early June calendar.

"We could start late and end early by getting rid of the stuff in the middle," said Kim Athey, referring to numerous breaks from class scheduled throughout the year.

Joanne Cherefko said any school calendar discussion should focus on how it affects the quality of classroom instruction.

"My philosophical view is that it's got to be based on instruction, not vacations," she said.

Parents should contact their children's schools by Dec. 20 with ideas about what the 2012 -13 calendar should look like, Drescher said. Copies of the calendar proposals he presented to the board are available at the schools, he said.

Drescher said he expected to submit a final calendar proposal to the board by the Jan. 10 meeting.

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