Katie Peterson | Staff Writer

During the monthly Unified School District 207 board meeting Feb. 22 at the central office, board members approved the proposed the calendar for the 2021-22 schoolyear.


Keith Mispagel, superintendent of schools, said the calendar reflects a “normal” schoolyear. Whether learning will be on-site or remote because of COVID-19 will depend on guidance given at the state and national levels.


The first day of school is Aug. 17, Thanksgiving break is Nov. 24-26, winter break is Dec. 20 through Jan. 3, 2022, spring break is March 14-18, and the last day of school is May 26.


Other notable no-school dates include Sept. 6 for Labor Day, Oct. 11 for Columbus Day, Nov. 11 for Veterans Day, Jan. 17 for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Feb. 21 for Presidents Day and April 15 for Easter.


There are also several staff professional development days and parent-teacher conferences scheduled when there will be no school for students including Sept. 3, Sept. 30 through Oct. 1, Oct. 15, Nov. 12, Jan. 28 and March 11.


The full calendar will be available soon at usd207.org.


Calendar change
During the meeting, the board approved to change March 5 to a no-school day for students so staff can participate in a “Navigating Next” professional development day to prepare for the end of the schoolyear and next schoolyear.


“As we approach spring, what does the end of the year look like. A lot of our discussions at a state level … are the unknown, unquantified impacts of last year’s March demand. What happened when schools were fully remote?” Mispagel asked. “This year, more than ever before, it’s a ‘keep the pedal to the metal and don’t let off’ because last year there was a fourth quarter where we had to let off based on the climate.


“This is a planning day. March 5 is the first day of the rest of the year to make sure our kids are prepared for the rest of the year and the next year,” he said. “The importance and the value of what our teachers will be able to use that day for and looking at data and keeping the pedal to the metal toward the end of the schoolyear.”


Accreditation visit
On March 9, USD 207 will have its annual Kansas Education Systems Accreditation visit.
On Feb. 22, each school building prepared for the visit.


Because of COVID-19 significantly affecting the last two school years, SuAnn Grant, deputy superintendent, said the Kansas State Department of Education gave school districts the option to “pause” their accreditation cycle. USD 207 opted not to pause.


“We chose to continue into the fourth year of our (five-year) cycle in order to share our work that has continued throughout this challenging schoolyear to share areas of progress and growth,” Grant said.


Snack packs
On March 12, USD 207 will provide a sack lunch for all students both on-site and remote at the end of the half-day of school. On-site students will receive a snack pack at the end of the day. Parents of remote learning students can start picking up snack packs at noon.
The snack packs will include an apple and an orange, baby carrots, a soy butter and jelly sandwich, chocolate bread and reduced fat Doritos.


Principal’s report
Cindy Wepking, Eisenhower Elementary School principal, updated the board on the happenings at the school. Her presentation included an update on SITE council, the Leader in Me program, student progress in reading and math, student and staff recognition programs, and the school’s goals and plans in relation to the upcoming KESA visit.


Board members and other essential personnel practiced social distancing and wore face coverings during the board meeting. Some USD 207 office staff and other personnel attended the meeting via videoconferencing.


All board meetings are open to the public. For an overview of the meeting and the minutes, visit https://go.boarddocs.com/ks/usd207/Board.nsf/Public. A Zoom link will be available to the public the day of the meeting for virtual participation.


The next USD 207 board meeting is at 4:30 p.m. March 29 at the district office.

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