School bells at some Nebraska schools are already ringing and it is only the second week in August. It seems schools start earlier and earlier every year. Elkhorn Public Schools started Monday and Superintendent Steve Baker says there are several reasons why the need to start school well before Labor Day.
Baker says one piece of the puzzle is the community wants school to be out by Memorial Day. Other considerations include ending the first semester before winter break so students don’t have to return after two weeks and then take finals. He says spring break is another consideration and depending on the length will also impact the school year.
Baker says, “You put those pieces of the puzzle together, you have a set number of teacher contract days, you are targeting so many student days, the start date falls into place.”
Some question the number of in-service days for teachers is adding to the school year. Baker says teachers in the district have a 190 day contract. Approximately 178 days are student learning days. He says many in-service days are before the start day and after the end date with a few scheduled throughout the year. He says those days are critical in providing quality education to children.
Elkhorn Public Schools has one of the fastest growing student populations in the state and have added about 1,600 children in the last three years.