Calendar Survey Now Open!

Do you think the first day of school  should be scheduled after Labor Day? When should winter break fall?

What are your thoughts on the following following concepts:

  • Instructional Hours: During its 2013 session, the Iowa legislature passed a law allowing local school districts to continue to have calendars based on the traditional requirement of 180 days of school or change to a schedule based on an equivalent requirement of 1,080 hours. The change from days to hours would have to be approved by the school board. The state rules regarding school academic calendars address what would and would not be considered as instructional hours, such as passing time, lunch, parent teacher conferences, and more. To learn more about this legislation, click here. A calendar based on hours could possibly provide for more flexibility. The current West Des Moines Community Schools calendar has 180 days. If our district changed to hours, we would have 1,173 hours of instruction, which is 93 more hours than the required minimum. Potentially, this could mean that some hours missed due to such events as inclement weather may not have to be made up.
  • Alternative Calendar: Sometimes people refer to an alternative calendar as a year around school calendar. Does that mean we are proposing students go to school all year long? No. What it means is we are simply wanting to gauge our community’s thoughts about the concept of arranging the our current number of school days/hours differently. For example, shorter breaks throughout the year and a longer summer break, or longer breaks throughout the year and a shorter summer break. Does this mean we are looking at changing our entire district’s calendar to an alternative calendar? No, but one school could possibly pilot an alternative calendar, if there is interest. No decisions have been made, and much more research would have to be done. Again, this is simply an opportunity to ask you—our parents and staff—what you think of these concepts.

Let us know!

    • Visit Calendar Survey to fill out the survey, which will take about 10-15 minutes.
    • Complete the survey before Oct. 28.

The information gathered from this survey will help inform the district calendar committee as it develops calendar proposals for the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 academic years.

Would you like to be considered to serve on the committee? Feel free to submit your name at the end of the survey.