Parents and students in the Lafayette Parish School System will have a few extra days of summer.
Thursday night, the school board approved the calendar for the 2019-2020 school year: something they’ve been narrowing down for months. Not one parent got up to speak at the podium about the new calendar, but parents and staff say they had mixed feelings about the approved calendar.
With a 7-2 vote, next school year will begin on August 15 and end on May 28. Board member Tommy Angelle says the new calendar doesn’t maximize the district’s instructional time. Some parents at the meeting agreed with Angelle.
“I would prefer more instructional time and more preparation time for testing, so that they can do their best,” Jennifer Riplie said.
The president of the Lafayette Association of Educators likes the move, saying the calendar is positive.
“What we’ve generally heard in our office from teachers and students is that it’s a very early start, starting August 1st has been very stressful. And now that we are starting a little later, its a good compromise. I’m feeling good that moving forward we will be able to take care of what we need to take care of throughout the year, and we will still get out at a good time, and the holidays will be preserved,” Jonathan Cole said.
Still, others hoped the school board would have chosen a calendar with an even later start.
“No matter how much you do with a child, they’re going to retain what they want to retain. So, yes, I think it could work, but I still feel like it should have been the later calendar, like the one for September,” Jaime Engram said.
Aside from the later start date, next year’s calendar gets rid of fall break and features only a three-day Mardi Gras break.