Return to Headlines

District shares survey results on school calendar

District shares survey results on school calendar

The Wichita Public Schools invited feedback from employees, parents and students regarding the extended day and shortened school year for this year’s calendar in order to save nearly $3 million. More than 14,000 people responded to the survey. Of that number, 36% responded were staff members including more than 3,200 teachers. Click here to see the survey results.

Highlights of the survey results include:

  • 54% of all respondents, including the same percentage of all staff, would keep this year’s school calendar as-is next year.
  • Only 46% of elementary certified staff would keep this year’s school calendar as-is next year, with 54% preferring to return to the calendar format we had last year.
  • Respondents disliked the shorter year, but disliked the longer day even more
    • 49% of employees, 44% of parents and 30% of students don’t feel the shorter year has had a positive impact
    • 63% of employees, 54% of parents and 47% of students and don’t feel the longer day has had a positive impact
  • The greatest level of concern about the extended day came from elementary stakeholders (staff and parents). These respondents accounted for approx. 80% of the alternative scheduling ideas recommended for consideration.
    • Overwhelmingly, the suggestions offered pertain to modifying the start/end time of the school day. 
  • Of the value points presented, the $3 million in savings from the 2016-17 budget, the extended breaks for Thanksgiving and Christmas, and the additional recess period for elementary students were valued as important by the greatest number of respondents.

The school year calendar is scheduled to be discussed at the Board of Education meeting on April 10. Based on survey feedback, the district will examine scenarios that would modify the start and end times of the school day in an effort to dismiss elementary schools earlier than 4:40 p.m. No decisions have been made, but the district will look at potential scenarios and make a decision as soon as possible.

“It’s unfortunate that finance and budget is driving this train,” said Superintendent John Allison. “Our district has made cuts to our operating budget year after year, and we are uncertain what the result of the current legislative session will be in light of the Kansas Supreme Court ruling earlier this school year.”

“We will be thoughtful and deliberate in our considerations based on feedback, then we will make what is sure to be a difficult recommendation that allows our district to move forward with preparations for the 2017-18 school year including development of a balanced budget, creation of building master calendars, parent notification and other beginning-of-year plans,” Superintendent Allison said.