Saturday, December 30, 2017


Here's an update on the newest graduating class of AVID students, and on all of the students who are enrolled in college or who have graduated.

Class of 2017

Here's the college enrollment information for the class of 2017, compared with data from the Idaho Board of Education's High School Feedback Reports, which contain data for every school and district in the state.

The District's AVID "direct-to-college" percentage has remained high across all classes, averaging just under 80%. The highest "direct-to-college rate was for the class of 2012 at 90%, and the lowest was for the class of 2016 at 71%.

Typically, most AVID graduates go to school in state (about 3/4 enroll at one of three colleges, Boise State, the University of Idaho, and the College of Western Idaho.

Total Graduation/Retention Percentages - All AVID Classes

The graduation figures for AVID students are growing - 40 students have graduated with a diploma or a certificate. Of the graduates, 8 have degrees from BSU, 7 from the College of Idaho, and 6 each from CWI and the University of Idaho. Others have earned degrees or certificates from Pepperdine University, the University of Utah, Idaho State University (2), Northern Arizona University, Austin Peay University (TN), South Puget Sound CC (WA), Northwest Nazarene University, College of Southern Idaho, and Carrington College (2), North Idaho College, and the University of Minnesota, Crookston.

Interestingly, two students from the class of 2011 and 11 from the class of 2012 are still enrolled in college. Typically, these students started late or took a stop out during their college careers, but a few have been attending since high school graduation, six or even seven years after high school graduation.

Monday, December 18, 2017


Recently, Terry Ryan, CEO of the Boise-based education nonprofit Bluum and of the Idaho Charter School Network, wrote an article in Idaho Education News decrying an Associated Press article which criticized charters as being among the most segregated schools in the country. Ryan noted that there have been criticisms leveled at the authors of the article.

But this is only one of a number of charter critiques that's been published lately. 

Since these are just a few of the recent articles about charters, it's curious that Ryan opted to respond to the Associated Press article.  However, his claim is that Idaho charters are different:

From his op-ed: "In Idaho, critics have accused public charter schools of pulling the highest performing students out of their traditional public-school classrooms and creating student populations that do not reflect the diversity of the communities they serve. In 2015, a Boise-based organization, Centro de Communidad y Justicia, filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education’s (US DOE) Office of Civil Rights. According to that complaint, “Idaho’s charter school system has evolved into an unequal public-school system that discriminates against students of color, LEP students, students with disabilities (many of whom are Latino), and students from low-income families.” The hard charging US DOE’s Office of Civil Rights under President Obama never acted on this complaint apparently finding little merit in it."

To prove his point, Ryan cites Idaho State Department data to show that Idaho's charters as a whole, while not matching Idaho demographics, come very close to the demographics of the Boise and West Ada districts.

There are a few problems with Ryan's arguments:
  • First and foremost, Idaho's charters as a whole are not a school district; they are a bunch of disparate schools which are spread across the state of Idaho.
  • Idaho charters are mostly k-8 or k-6 schools, so comparing to k-12 systems is an apples-to-oranges measure.
  • Selecting certain demographics and ignoring others is cherry-picking -- it's important to note that Idaho has a large number of Limited English students, and the charter system has almost none.
Here are the data with regard to Boise's charters and the District as a whole.

If we really want to look at how Idaho's charters are doing, we should follow the example set by Anser, a Boise charter that is sponsored by the Boise School District. Each year, Anser's staff and their Board chair appear before the Boise Board of Trustees and present their annual report. As part of the report, they compare school performance with demographically similar schools in the District. Since Anser's free/reduced percentage is in the teens, they compare their performance with Roosevelt and Washington Schools in the Boise District. At some levels, Anser has superior achievement to the District schools; in others, they have lower achievement. But Anser makes an appropriate comparison and uses the data to set goals and improve performance. 

For the most part, we would agree that we have not seen the widespread problems that have occurred elsewhere with charters in Idaho. However, charters in general do not reflect the demographics of the school districts in which they reside.

Sunday, December 10, 2017


We often look to other states for ideas about effective programs that may work for our students here in Boise. For example, the Vancouver, Washington School District, which has very similar demographics to Boise, pioneered a Community Schools program a number of years ago. Several district staff traveled to Vancouver to see the program, and we have since adopted much of its structure in our first Community Schools, at Garfield, Whittier, Morley Nelson, Whitney, and Frank Church. 

We also attempt to compare our results in Boise with demographically similar districts and schools in other states. However, it's often difficult to find the data to make valid comparisons. But, in the case of Advanced Placement, we were able to find information we needed, such as Free/Reduced Lunch %ages, AP Exams Given and Passed, and Enrollment numbers, to look at high schools in both states and make an apples-to-apples comparison.

AP Participation

We found a great deal of relevant data on the Washington Department of Education website, including enrollment reports , free/reduced lunch percentages, and AP exam participation and passing exam numbersby district and school, that assisted us in our analysis. Some Washington high schools focus on the International Baccalaureate program and gave very few AP exams; we tried to take them out of the comparison if we could. Others use dual credit opportunities as their primary method for acquiring college credit, as do many Idaho schools - we believe Advanced Placement is the "gold standard" because it allows students to apply credits at some many colleges around the country.

However, some Washington high schools gave tremendous number of AP exams, so we were able to make a comparison between them and Idaho schools. Following is a chart showing the number of AP exams given on the y-axis, and the percentage of free/reduced lunch on the x-axis, for larger Idaho and Washington high schools.

As you can see, the Bellevue District high schools gave a huge number of AP exams. Newport, Bellevue, and Interlake high schools are annually among the top schools in the Washington Post's Challenging Schools Index. After that, you'll see 20-30 high schools that far exceed the average of what might be expected in terms of exams, including the 4 comprehensive Boise District high schools.

Note that there are relatively few high schools in the chart that have higher percentages (>40%) of free/reduced students and gave a large number of exams. Those include Borah, Capital, Lincoln High School in Tacoma, North Central and Rogers High School in Spokane, and Mt. Vernon High School on northwest Washington state.

Success Ratio

In order to look at the success high schools are having with their AP programs, we use a  ratio to determine the number of passing exams at the school in a given year (times 100) divided by the number of juniors and seniors enrolled. Using this ratio allows us to consider program success on the y-axis and free/reduced lunch percentage on the y-axis. Schools that allow only their top students to take AP classes will typically do poorly in this comparison, as do schools that have a very low passing percentage on the exams.

Bellevue's schools knock it out of the park in this comparison as well, because they give huge numbers of exams and have high passing percentages. However, several other districts fare very well in this comparison - Spokane's high schools offer significant AP opportunities and have large numbers of passing exams - Lewis and Clark, North Central, Ferris, and Rogers are all in the Spokane District. Boise, Borah, Capital, and Timberline all fare well in the comparison. Two Seattle high schools, Garfield and Roosevelt, and two schools in the Evergreen District, in southwest Washington, Mt. View and Union. did very well, as did Issaquah and Liberty High Schools east of Seattle. Wood River and McCall were not large enough for inclusion, but we wanted to see how they fared, and they match up well, as does Century in Pocatello.

This analysis allows us to look at high schools in Washington from which we can learn about how they are providing AP opportunities, or unique preparatory programs they may be offering. We have visited Bellevue, and adopted a "just in time" math seminars that provide remediation of student math understandings the same day as a concept is introduced or the day after.

But other districts have clearly done some things from which we can learn and get better. We'll find out what North Central High School in Spokane and Everett High School are doing to encourage student participation in AP courses, along with several other high schools in the comparison.

Saturday, November 25, 2017


The past month has seen some really interesting writing about education. Here is a sampling of articles from November.

Higher Education

There have been several articles this month about colleges and universities in general that have been interesting.

In "The Myth of American Universities as Inequality Fighters"a research-based article from The Atlantic, Derek Thompson  argues that the top universities in the country are basically just helping students from wealthy families stay wealthy. He cites research from respected economists Raj Chetty, John Friedmann, Emmanuel Saez, Nicholas Turner, and Danny Yagan. It's an interesting read.

From the author: "Poor students who graduate from Ivy League universities (and their equivalents like Stanford, Duke, and MIT) have a much better shot at entering the top 1 percent than low-income graduates of other colleges. But these hyper-selective schools are also hyper-elite. A child from the richest 1 percent of families is 77 times more likely to attend an Ivy (or an equally selective college) than a child from a family in the poorest quintile."

Echoing the tone of the Atlantic article is Benjamin Wermund in Politico. His article, In Trump Country, a University Confronts its Skeptics, is written about the University of Michigan, its credo of providing "an uncommon education for the common man", and the reality that 10% of the population the University serves comes from the top 1% of wage earners, while only 16% comes from the bottom 60%.

Wermund writes, “It’s ingrained at an early age — ‘You’re not going to go there,’” explained Benjamin Edmondson, the superintendent of one school district in nearby Ypsilanti, Michigan, where almost every student is poor enough to qualify for a subsidized lunch. “Why? It’s expensive. Why? It’s not attainable.”

On a brighter note, John Gramlich writes in the Pew Research Center blog that the Hispanic Dropout Rate Hits New Low, College Enrollment Reaches New High. Using data from the Census Bureau, the author notes that, even as the Hispanic K-12 population has grown, the dropout rates has plummeted from 34% to just 10%. 

Gramlich writes, "As the Hispanic dropout rate has declined, the share of Hispanic high school graduates who enroll in college has risen. In 2016, 47% of Hispanic high school graduates ages 18 to 24 were enrolled in college, up from 32% in 1999."

K-12 Enrollment

In a September, 2016 post, we wrote about declining kindergarten enrollment around the state of Idaho, and the portent for future statewide k-12 enrollment. Sure enough, Idaho Education News reporter Clark Corbin wrote in an early November article, "Student Enrollment Levels Off for First Time in Years", that enrollment in Idaho's public schools increased by only 459 in 2018-19, after increases of 4300 and 3300 the two previous years. We'll do some analysis of the data in a future post.

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)

ESSA is the successor to No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and Race to the Top (RTTP), the accountability plans required of states for receipt of federal dollars for programs such as Title I. Frederick Hess and Brendan Bell of the American Enterprise Institute are frequent commentators on education reform from the conservative side. In "Frivolous Ambition", published in U.S. News and World Report, they argue that the new act has caused states to set absurd goals for academic progress.

"...the state's (New Jersey's) new plan requires steady gains between now and 2030 that are about 500 percent a year larger than those under its previous accountability system."


"... Kansas' reading scores would have to increase more than 16 times faster than they did during the No Child Left Behind era, and math scores would have to increase, well, infinitely faster."

Here are the academic goals from Idaho's plan:

The goals for Students with Disabilities and English Language Proficiency (Limited English students) are, at best, very ambitious!

Refugee Destinations

Jynnah Radford of the Pew Research Center posted this interesting timeline of refugee resettlement patterns by state since 2002. The article title is "How U.S. refugee resettlement in each state has shifted since 2002". Here are Idaho's top resettlement country patterns since then:

2002 - Bosnia/Herzegovina (141)
2003 - Afghanistan (79)
2004 - Somalia (137)
2005 - Russia (362)
2006 - Russia (306)
2007 - Burundi (194)
2008 - Burma (264)
2009 - Bhutan (312)
2010 - Bhutan (335)
2011 - Burma (227)
2012 - Burma (189)
2013 - Burma (203)
2014 - Iraq - (292)
2015 - Democratic Republic of Congo (258)
2016 - Democratic Republic of Congo (528)
2017 - Democratic Republic of Congo (299)

Thursday, November 23, 2017


Recently, we used data from the College Board and from the National Student Clearinghouse to do an analysis of college-going rates among our students who took one or more Advanced Placement exams. We looked at the high school graduating class of 2016, and used NSC data to ascertain the percentage of students who were enrolled in college a year after their high school graduation.

Here's what we found:

The "Go-on" rate for students taking one or more AP tests was 81%; interestingly, that's just a bit higher than the overall "Go-on" rate for AVID graduates (77%). The rate for graduates who took no AP tests was 47%; that's just a percentage point higher than the one-year percentage of students statewide in 2015 (46%).

Now, you might wonder, aren't these the same students who would have gone on to college anyway? Well, some of them are, for sure. But the percentage of students taking AP classes has increased by almost 200%, even since the turn of the century, so many more students are taking AP classes.

These data also include a number of students who went on missions for their church straight out of high school. Additionally, some colleges don't participate in the Clearinghouse, most notably the service academies. We found a number of these students and included their colleges, but a few that we are certain are in college are still missing.

The "Go on" rates for AP test-takers vary a bit by high school, but the rates are much higher than the District and Idaho "Go on" percentages.

So, what does the destination pattern look like for students who participate in AP? 

So, the percentage of students going on to Idaho schools was just a bit lower than for the general population (about 2/3 to Idaho schools). Just under 40% of AP test-takers go out of state for college.

5 or More AP Tests

We were also able to look at the students who took 5 or more Advanced Placement tests during their high school careers. typically these students would obtain credit or waivers for at least 15 credits; some would be granted many more.  This was a group of 210 students.

Note that among this group, fewer than half went to school in the state of Idaho. Of those that did 45 attended BSU, 34 went to the University of Idaho, and 7 to The College of Idaho. The most popular out-of-state destination was the University of Utah, with 19, followed by Gonzaga University (5) and BYU (5).

Otherwise, the destinations of these students were widespread. 3 went to each of the University of Puget Sound (WA), Whitman College (WA), California Polytechnic, and Westminster College (UT). 2 attended each of the University of Colorado, USC, Colorado State, Lewis and Clark (OR), University of Portland, University of Washington, Washington University (MO), Princeton (NJ), the University of Oklahoma, and the University of Pennsylvania.

Among the other noteworthy colleges attended by a District student who took 5 or more AP tests were Cal-Berkeley, Stanford, Santa Clara (CA), Northwestern (IL), Purdue, Harvard, Wellesley (MA), MIT, University of Michigan, Duke, Brown (RI), Smith (MA), and Emerson (MA), an impressive assortment of top-notch colleges.

Of course, we know that many District students choose options other than 4-year colleges. The Dennis Career Technical Center offers a a large number of courses designed to prepare students for good-paying jobs in the local economy, from Auto Body, Heavy Diesel and Welding to Electrical, CNA and HVAC. Many Boise students choose to enroll in these programs and earn licenses in one of these career fields, and the District is expanding offerings at the Dennis Center to provide more choices for students.

Monday, October 30, 2017


In September, 2016, we wrote about the impressive results of the first year of the Boise Pre-k program; 83% of students who attended the Pre-k program were at "grade level" or "ready to read" when they entered kindergarten, as opposed to half of those who did not participate in the program.

The Boise Pre-k program is a collaborative venture among the Boise District, the city of Boise, the United Way, Micron Foundation, and other community partners. Two outstanding teachers, Sheila Dengler-Shaw and Grace Ruddy, teach two sessions each of the program at Whitney and Hawthorne, respectively. Each of the two schools have high percentages of students who qualify for the federal free/reduced lunch program.

Year 2 Results

Here are the combined results for Whitney and Hawthorne Pre-k students on the Fall 2017 Idaho Reading Indicator, along with "ready to read" percentages for students not enrolled in the Pre-k program and the Boise District as a whole.

Year 1 Cohort - Mobility and Spring Kindergarten Results

Of the first year cohort, only 60% (24) of the 44 Pre-k enrollees who took the fall Kindergarten IRI in 2016 are still at Hawthorne and Whitney. As we wrote previously, high-poverty schools are typically high-mobility schools, as well. Of the 20 who are in different schools, 6 are enrolled in other Boise bench elementary schools, and 14 have moved out of the Boise District.

Among the 30 students who were enrolled in Boise Schools during kindergarten, here's the IRI data for fall and spring of the 2016-17 school year:

So, 2 students from the first cohort went from scores of "3" on the IRI  to a score of "2" in the spring. However, 3 students moved from a score of "1" (intensive) to a score of "2". The percentage of first cohort "3" scores remained higher than that of the total percentage at the two schools.

First Year Cohort First Grade Results 

We are currently undertaking an analysis of Fall 1st grade scores for the first cohort of Pre-k students. We are concerned about how the "summer slide", decline in reading performance over the summer, has affected students from the Pre-k project. We know that, in the past, students from low-income schools often have made dramatic gains during the school year, only to see the gains disappear during the summer.

Sunday, October 8, 2017


Findings from educational research drive instruction in the Boise School District. The District's comprehensive professional development program includes research-based strategies such as 

WICOR (Writing, Inquiry, Collaboration, Organization, and Reading to Learn), the basis for AVID and many district-wide practices
Engaging Qualities - research from the late Philip Schlecty, author of numerous research articles and "Working on the Work" and the promotion of an engaging culture in classrooms.
Depth of Knowledge - Dr. Norman Webb, explores cognitive complexity, transfer of knowledge, forming generalizations, and background knowledge, among other issues in teaching.
Growth Mindsets, Dr, Carol Dweck, exploring fixed and growth mindsets, and how they affect teaching and learning.
Mathematical Mindsets, Dr. Jo Boaler, Stanford researcher and professor

These are just a sampling of the programs provided for Boise teachers. Many other content-specific opportunities are also available as well. 

However, the foundation for professional development in the District is the work of two acclaimed educational researchers, Dr. Richard Dufour and Dr. Robert Marzano.

Dufour, who passed away in 2017, was the acclaimed principal of Stevenson High School in Illinois, and later Superintendent of the Lincolnshire District. His work on development of collaborative cultures in schools is highlighted in "Professional Learning Communities at Work: Best Practices for Enhancing Student Achievement", the basis for the development of "PLC" teams at schools across the country. The Boise District has embraced the PLC concept, and provided important district-wide training in the development of collaborative culture. In Praise of American Educators, his 2015 book, is viewed as a classic among educators already. Here is a short video featuring Dufour.

Marzano's book Classroom Instruction that Worksthe basis of much professional development in the District and across the country, and his Nine High-Yield Instructional Strategies are research-based practices in regular use by our teachers. Marzano is among the most respected educational researchers in the field.

Marzano's work has yielded some similar recommendations to that of John Hattie, whose 2009 book Visible Learning revealed the results of a massive "meta-meta-analysis" of over 800 studies, and provided a list of practices identified as most effective, using an "effect-size" analysis. 

For example, Marzano identifies "Cooperative Learning" as an important strategy as does Hattie. "Remediation Feedback" as identified by Hattie is similar to "Setting Objectives and Providing Feedback" from Marzano , and "Concept Mapping" in Hattie's work is similar to Marzano's "Nonlinguistic Representations".

Hattie emphasizes Spaced Practice, which is  "frequency of different learning opportunities; three to four exposures to learning over several days before learning occurs, and spacing the practice of skills over a long period of time". One of Marzano's strategies is "Homework and Practice" on a regular basis. Boise teachers use these methodologies on a regular basis.

Of course, any research is subject to criticism as to specific conclusions the researcher draws. For example, Hattie's research methodology, evidence, and conclusions have drawn fire from researchers  (here and here, for example), and Marzano's evaluation system has been the subject of ire from some writers; however, both are respected researchers.

Research-Based Strategies and Instructional Time

It's important to note that effective use of the strategies recommended by educational researchers is dependent on other factors, one of which is time. Each of the strategies is designed to facilitate maximal use of classroom instructional time. The District's Calendar Committee recommended with its calendar proposal to increase instructional time in the second semester by almost two weeks. Even though several of those days are now taken up by SBAC testing, effective use of the strategies will provide additional essential learning time for Boise students.

A Note on the "Summer Slide"

In our last post, we wrote about "summer slide" and its effects on students, particularly on struggling readers. For those who want to learn more about the phenomenon and what to do about it, here are two articles:

1) Richard Allington, author of "Summer Reading: Closing the Rich/Poor Achievement Gap"
 responds to questions about "Summer Slide". in this interview from the School Library Journal.

As Allington notes:

"We also know that children from low-income families routinely lose two to three months of reading proficiency every summer while middle-class children gain about a month. This creates a three to four month gap every summer. From grade one to nine children from low-income families lose two or more years of reading proficiency, during the summers when school is not in session."

2) "How to Prevent Summer Learning Loss"  is a blog post by Valerie Strauss, author of the Answer Sheet in the Washington Post. Here Linda B. Gambrell, Distinguished Professor of Education in the Eugene T. Moore School of Education at Clemson University, and former president of the International Reading Association answers questions about the topic.

Monday, October 2, 2017


Each year, the Boise School District Calendar Committee recommends a calendar for the following school year to the Board of Trustees at their regularly scheduled October 9 Board Meeting.  

This past year, as part of that process, the Calendar Committee looked at the potential of adopting a calendar that would end the first semester prior to the Winter Holiday Break and the school year prior to the Memorial Day weekend.  This proposal was made for a number of reasons, including but not limited to:

  • Students would be able to complete End of Course Assessments prior to their break, allowing them to rest and not worry about studying for finals or completing projects;
  • Students would get a fresh start for second semester after the break.
  • Teachers would be able to be more efficient with instruction, preventing the need in January to re-teach material due.
  • Allow students to have more days of instruction before standardized and Advanced Placement testing in the spring;
  • Mirror what is done at most colleges and universities with first semester ending before Winter Holiday Break and second semester starting after;
  • Eliminate days from the District Calendar that traditionally have poor attendance. The District’s traditional calendar ends the school year in early June.  By ending school prior to Memorial Day weekend, we ensure that we receive maximum funding from the State for instructional purposes.

After careful consideration of more than 11 versions of potential calendars, the Calendar Committee surveyed staff, parents and patrons to gauge their level of support for the new calendar.  We wrote about the results of that survey in our June 13, 2017 blog post.  In summary, the results of the poll showed that 85% of Boise District patrons and staff were in favor of a proposal in which first semester would end prior to the Winter Holiday Break and the school year would end the weekend before the Memorial Day holiday.  The survey included responses from 4,991 individuals,  1,706 of which were Boise School District staff and and 3,285 that were from patrons and parents.

With this response, the calendar committee proceeded with developing a 2018-2019 school year calendar that would accomplish the very clear objective of ending the first semester prior to the Winter Holiday Break.  

Support for Ending the First Semester Prior to the Winter Holiday Break, but Not for an Earlier Start Date
During the course of the summer, an online campaign titled Save Idaho Summers was started by a water park in Meridian, to oppose an earlier August start date.  Following the start of that campaign, the District began receiving feedback from constituents opposed to the new calendar.  As a result of that feedback, the District launched an online public comment page on our website in August and held two focus groups in September. While it was clear that there was considerable support for ending the first semester prior to the Winter Holiday Break, many patrons did not want to start the school year earlier.

A Compromise Calendar Developed

With that in mind, the Boise School District Calendar Committee has proposed a modified calendar that will allow us to respect the overwhelming support to end the first semester prior to the Winter Holiday Break, yet maintain the traditional school start date after the third weekend in August.

We were able to accomplish this by:

  • Eliminating the October In-Service Days and making those days instructional days.
    • In considering this change, it is important to remember that the state does not mandate in-service days. Historically, many schools have set aside the first Thursday and Friday of October for staff development to allow their staff to attend regional and state in-service meetings.
    • Moving forward, staff who want to attend state conferences on those days will be able to submit for a professional leave day.

  • Adding two teacher contract days, dedicated to classroom preparation and professional development, prior to the start of school to offset the loss of October In-Service day.

  • Establishing a calendar that has fewer days in the first semester than the second semester.
    • A slightly longer second semester will increase instructional days previously lost to end-of-year activities and to mandated standardized testing.

In reviewing several alternatives, the Calendar Committee believes that the latest proposed calendar contains many benefits for students, including:

  • Optimizes instructional time in October by providing more consistency in instructional days
  • Protects the full week of Thanksgiving Break. Experience shows that by only taking two and half days at Thanksgiving results in poor attendance due to families traveling and would not be beneficial from an instructional or financial point of view.
  • Ends the school year prior to the Memorial Day weekend

Suggestion to Start School After Labor Day Raises Serious Concerns

After the District released information regarding the compromise Calendar, some patrons insisted that the District adopt a calendar that starts the school year after Labor Day.  In order to accomplish this, the District  would have to lengthen the school day or extend the school year later into June. There are a number of reasons why this idea raises concerns:

  • Loss of educational information -- according to the National Summer Learning Association, students can lose up to three months of Math and Reading skills over the course of the summer (often referred to as “Summer Slide”). Extending the length of the Summer Vacation worsens this issue and has a disproportionate impact on our most vulnerable students.  

  • Increased financial burden for parents -- extending the length of the summer has a significant financial impact on parents who pay for daycare during the summer months.

  • Loss of safety and security -- for many of our students, school is the safest place they can go. Longer summer breaks are not in the best interest of students living in poverty for a number of reasons, including access to healthy and reliable breakfasts and lunch programs.

  • Reduction in quality instructional time -- starting after Labor Day reduces the number of instructional days students have prior to end-of-year state controlled testing dates (ISAT and IRI) and College Board mandated Advanced Placement (AP) exam dates.  Extending school into mid-June would result in a significant amount of instructional time taking place after those exams.

Thanks to the work of our staff and the input from our parents, we believe that the Board will be able to consider a proposed calendar that truly has the best interests of our students -- of all backgrounds -- and our community as a whole, in mind.