The member school districts of the Northwest Arkansas Education Service Cooperative (NWAESC) of which our district belongs are collectively and separately requesting a waiver from A.C.A. 6-10-106, which establishes the first allowable day of class as the Monday of the week that contains August 19. For the 2024-2025 school year, that date will be Monday, August 19. Due in part to the snow and ice that we receive annually during most winters, the NWAESC member school districts waiver request from A.C.A. 6-10-106 will allow the applying school districts to set their individual district’s first day of class to be no earlier than Monday, August 12. Three advantages of this waiver would be as follows:
1. The fall and spring semesters would be closer to the same length. Without this waiver, the fall semester will be 84 days while the spring semester will be 94 days, a difference of 10 days. With the waiver the fall semester will be 91 days and the spring semester 87 days, a difference of only 4 days. The more unbalanced the semesters are, the greater the issue for classes that are one semester in length.
2. The alternative solution for unbalanced semesters is to not end the fall semester until after Christmas break. This results in final exams shortly after two weeks out of school, and the possibility of exams being repeatedly postponed due to winter weather.
3. In the event of a hard winter, this waiver will give greater assurance of school ending in May rather than extending into June. Some research indicates a decrease in learning past the Memorial Day Holiday.
Part of the application process is to receive input from our stakeholders, which includes our families and employees; therefore, we ask that you answer the question below and provide any input that you care to share concerning the waiver application. Your responses will remain anonymous.
Thank you for taking part in this survey and for any input that you may have shared.
John Karnes, Superintendent