By ERIC SCHELKOPF - eschelkopf@shawmedia.com

Batavia School Board approves changes to school calendar

BATAVIA – Batavia High School students won't have to worry about their final examinations over Christmas break this year.

Batavia School Board members on Tuesday approved school calendars for the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 school years that will end the high school's first semester before winter break. Of those Batavia High school staff and students who took a survey on their preferences for the end of the semester, 71 percent said they would prefer to end the semester before the winter break.

Of just the Batavia High School students who were surveyed, 88 percent said they would like to see the semester end before winter break, with 12 percent wanting it to be after.

Other changes to the school year calendars include all students starting classes a day earlier in August, having classes the first two days of the Thanksgiving holiday week and having the school year end before Memorial Day.

School board members also approved making the Columbus Day holiday a teacher institute day and having classes on Presidents Day in 2014 and 2015.

Brad Newkirk, the district's chief academic officer, said the district considered many factors in making recommendations to the school calendars, including trying to minimize conflicts with nearby school districts as well as the Illinois High School Athletic Association calendar, maximizing professional learning opportunities for staff and minimizing short weeks (weeks with less than four days.)

Copyright © 2014 Northwest Herald. All rights reserved.