CSD school board approves changes to academic calendar

On September 10, 2019, the City Schools of Decatur (CSD) Board of Education voted to approve changes, proposed by superintendent, Dr. David Dude, to the academic calendar for future school years as well as this year. 

Members of the CSD school board from upper left to right: Dr. Dude, Garrett Goebel, Lewis B. Jones, Tasha White, and Heather Tell. Photo courtesy of Decaturish.

Changes to the academic calendar were prompted after Dr. Dude surveyed the community.

The previous academic school year entailed more than 180 days of school, with built-in “make-up” days in the case of cancellation. When Dr. Dude reflected on this, he found that this was not necessary, especially since many in the community argued against the extra time in school. Due to this, future school years will be shortened to 180 days. For this year instead of getting out on June 2, 2020, as planned, we will get out on May 29, 2020.

“We moved some of the teacher work days, where you would have a single day off in the middle of the year,…to before or after school starts [for] what we call pre-planning and post-planning so that it compressed the school year,” Dr. Dude said.

The result of “post-planning and pre-planning” is that, each year, students will start school after Aug. 1 or later and end in late May instead of starting Aug. 1 and ending in June. 

“The calendar was the result of the input from the community,  and so we did our best to create a calendar that worked the best for the most people.”  Dr. Dude said. 

The academic calendar was then discussed at a school board meeting where it was approved. 

“One of my goals this year was to come up with a plan that could be implemented far into the future. I actually planned out calendars through 2030 because I wanted to see what the impact was long term,” Dr. Dude said. The academic calendars follow the interests of the Decatur community as of right now. If interests changes then the academic calendars may adapt.

Since the change was made public, the Decatur community has responded positively.

“I like the idea of getting out earlier and I’m sure it will make it easier for my family to plan vacations.” Sophie Persons, said, a sophomore at DHS. “The school year always feels very long for us students, so I like the fact that the year is shortened.”