The Dubuque Community School District has released its proposed calendar for the 2015-16 school year.
The first full day of school in the proposed calendar is September 1, with orientation programs being held on August 31. Given this start date, the last scheduled day of classes is June 6.
This calendar proposal has school beginning almost two weeks later than previous years due to the decision by the Iowa Department of Education to no longer grant automatic start-date waivers allowing districts to start early. For the 2014-15 school year, all but two Iowa school districts requested and were granted waivers.
“We continue to believe there is benefit in beginning the year earlier, but the recent guidelines from the state make it impossible for us to start earlier,” said Superintendent Stan Rheingans. “Unless there is action at the legislative level, we are locked into this start day by the Department of Education.”
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The change in start date also means that the date of high school graduations will change from its traditional Memorial Day weekend schedule to Sunday, June. 5. “We know that people have become accustomed to having graduation over Memorial Day, but that is not realistic with the requirement to start school later,” said Rheingans.
Similar to this year’s calendar, the draft calendar includes 1,100 hours, with a 20-hour contingency to cover weather-related late starts or early dismissals. Any late starts or early dismissals that would cause the total number of instruction hours to fall below 1,080 will be made up. Full days cancelled due to weather will be made up at the end of the year as they are currently.