The Chillicothe R-2 School District will see slightly longer school days in the next academic year, but three fewer student instructional days. School board members unanimously approved the 2018-19 start date and calendar during their regular monthly meeting in December.

The Chillicothe R-2 School District will see slightly longer school days in the next academic year, but three fewer student instructional days. School board members unanimously approved the 2018-19 start date and calendar during their regular monthly meeting in December. The calendar adjustment was proposed by the district’s calendar committee, which had gathered staff input. The committee is comprised of a representative from each of the school buildings. The adjustment is being made to better accommodate the district and its teachers’ professional development days. “The teachers are asking for more opportunities for professional development,” said Dr. Roger Barnes, superintendent of schools. By reducing the number of instructional days, the district can provide up to three extra professional development days without adding teacher contract days; and also spares the district difficulty in finding substitute teachers when large numbers of teachers are gone for professional development. The approved calendar reflects 171 instructional days (currently 174 days). The teacher contract days remains at 180 days. The student start date is Aug. 16, 2018, and the last day of school will be May 15, 2019. To accommodate a reduction in the number of instructional days, eight minutes will be added at the end of each to each school day to give the district the same average daily attendance as the current calendar, Barnes stated. By lengthening the days with fewer days, the amount of time students spend in the classroom will remain the same. There also was some discussion regarding the Missouri State Fair, which takes place after the school year begins. A number of students in the district exhibit at the state fair, and the topic is frequently discussed. However, starting the school year after the state fair would, among other areas of concern, mean that the district would be unable to complete the first semester prior to the start of the traditional Christmas break. Summer school is tentatively scheduled to begin on May 28, 2019.