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School Board: no more half days; start school after August 19

Posted at 2:37 PM, Nov 08, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-08 17:37:58-05

The Lafayette School Board was scheduled to approve next year’s calendar Wednesday, but that was delayed to make some major changes.

The board approved the superintendent’s recommendation that no half-day in-service days were set, and that all remaining half-days in the current school year be cancelled – but they also talked about starting school later.

The calendar had set the first day for students at August 8, 2019 and the last day of school would be May 21, 2020.

Now, students will attend full days of school on January 16 and March 20, 2019. Students will not attend school on February 13, 2019, although teachers will have a full day of in-service and professional development activities.

After some discussion, board members asked the superintendent to figure out how to revise the calendar again, to have school start no earlier than August 19.

Louisiana law requires that school systems have no fewer than 177 days of instruction each school year. If the first day of school is moved later into August, those days must be made up somewhere. Since the proposed calendar also has no half-days, that change would not bring about any additional days.

That means that some holidays would have to be cancelled, or school would have to end later in May.

Board member Justin Centanni said he wants to hear from parents on this issue.

“We want to see what the options are, because we have a lot of holidays and days off during the year,” he said. “We could also end school later in the year. We want to get feedback from parents to see if they’d rather end school later, or have fewer holidays.”

Centanni said from what he’s hearing, parents feel school starts to early. But there has to be a trade-off, because of the required number of instructional days annually.

“We asked the superintendent for our options,” he said. “But we also want parents to tell us: What do you want to do? They could comment on one of the board members’ Facebook posts, send an email to the superintendent or their school board member. Tell us what you think about it.”

Centanni said he believes the board will at least discuss the issue next month, although he doesn’t expect a final decision in December.

You can find out who your board member is, and get their contact information, by clicking here.

LPSS is also offering the public the opportunity to make suggestions about possible calendar configurations. Suggestions can be made by visiting or emailing