School Board OKs 2020-21 calendar changes

More changes are coming to Huntington County Community School Corporation, as the Board of School Trustees adopted a reworked 2020-2021 school calendar during its regular meeting on Monday, July 20.

Superintendent Charles Daugherty outlined the changes to the calendar, beginning with moving four makeup days from March 29 to April 1 to Christmas break. The holiday break would run from Dec. 21 to Jan. 8 under the new calendar, with students returning to school on Jan. 11.

“Talking with the Health Department and looking at the documentation we received from the Department of Education, one thing that they’ve advised us to do is extend breaks from Thanksgiving into Christmas and that area, due to the flu season,” Daugherty explained.

For the new school year, Thanksgiving break will run from Nov. 25 to Nov. 27.

In another change involving spring break, students would have Friday, April 2, through Friday, April 9, off and return to classes on April 12.

Daugherty also cited the change in dates to working around the flu season and following IDOE and Health Department recommendations.

Two eLearning “flex days,” which had been reserved for Presidents Day and Martin Luther King Jr. Day, have now been moved to Nov. 16 and Feb. 15. There will be no school on Jan. 18, which is Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Any snow or regular school days called off will become eLearning days.

Daugherty said there will also be no open houses or parent-teacher conferences during the first semester. Instead, teachers will call their students’ parents to discuss their progress.

Board President Mathew Roth said he was uncomfortable with the new calendar and not in favor of it “for right now.”

“I appreciate the thought put into this,” he said, referring to the Calendar Committee, which provided input on the changes. “There are a lot of unknowns, and I prefer to wait to make calendar adjustments right now. I think that extended time off, when we’re talking about colleges that are taking Thanksgiving all the way to mid-January off, that’s a really extended time. I don’t believe moving four days is going to make a difference,”

However, Roth’s colleagues differed with his opinion. The final vote was 6-1 to amend the calendar, with Roth voting against the motion.

The new 2020-21 calendar can be accessed on the HCCSC website, www.hccsc.k12.in.us.