Apr 18, 2013 12:31 PM by Tina Macias
Lafayette Parish students will attend school for 176 days next year, four fewer days than they did this year, the Lafayette Parish School Board decided Wednesday night.
The academic year will begin Wednesday, Aug. 13 and end Thursday, May 29, but students' specific vacation days have not been finalized because of last-minute changes made by the board.
Although students will see their teachers for fewer days next year under the board's approved calendar, an original proposal would have eliminated even more student days. The board nixed a proposed calendar that would have placed students in school for 170 days next year, and told administration to make a decision about student holidays.
"The number of instructional days is problematic," board member Hunter Beasley said about the proposed calendar that would have eliminated 10 student days. "Even though there's more minutes in each day, it's not the same."
Student days were lowered to make way for more professional development days needed for upcoming state changes, central office staff said.
"You're going to kill the kids with this because our teachers wont get the training they need," superintendent Pat Cooper said. He said teachers will have to stay after school to receive training.
At least one teacher organization, the Lafayette Parish Association of Educators said they would like more time with students and accept professional development during planning periods and after school.
LPAE Vice President Karen Martin said they surveyed teachers who favored in-services during the summer over losing class time.