School calendar likely to remain same

Although an official calendar for next year in the Carson City School District has not yet been adopted, it will likely be similar to this year's, Superintendent Richard Stokes says.

"We are not going to be changing any start times next year," he said. "We are expecting and promoting that students will start about the third week of August, just as it always has."

Rumors have circulated among parents and teachers that the school start date or daily start times may change.

Stokes said those types of changes would not be made in private. He said that if the district were to consider them, there would be town-hall style meetings or surveys to gauge parent reaction.

"There's got to be a lot of input from community members," he said. "We would make it so people had ample opportunity for input."

Stokes said some advocates have pushed for a later start time for secondary schools, citing studies that say teens do better in school when they don't have to wake up early.

He said the district is not prepared to adopt that policy.

"When you make a big change like that in the school district, it's going to affect everybody, even if they don't have kids in school," he said. "We would need to get everybody's input before making a change of that magnitude."

There has also been some discussion that school would begin earlier in August. Stokes said that stems from discussions in the Washoe County School District a couple of years ago pertaining to an earlier start date. He said the larger districts in the state often set the precedent for the smaller ones.

However, Washoe County has yet to shift to an earlier start and has no plans to do so next year either, Stokes said.

"Again, we wouldn't want to be out there all by ourselves," Stokes said. "That would affect the athletic calendars, people's vacations. We just couldn't make that decision alone."

He said construction at Eagle Valley Middle School and Empire Elementary School was paid for with bond money, so some changes are prohibited.

"To start the school year earlier would be detrimental," he said. "We're going to need as much time as possible to get those buildings finished."

He said the final school calendar should go before the board for approval in late winter.


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