DeSoto Teachers To Help Decide School Start Date

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(Hernando, MS) DeSoto school leaders tentatively set August 12th and 18th as possible start dates for teachers and students respectively.

But that’s subject to change, and administrators say they’re going to give teachers a voice in the final decision.

”I like teachers getting input on the start date of school. I certainly appreciate it,” said Amy Hoffman, who teaches at Lewisburg High School.

She says both teachers and students would like a longer summer break.

Problem is, the state also has a role in the decision with the announcement of test dates.

”You’re looking at a having a full month with an open window for testing and what we don’t want to do its place holidays in those testing windows,” said Keith Williams with DeSoto County Schools.

He says the board will likely pick a compromise date that better fits the needs of teachers, parents, students, and the state.

Mississippi lawmakers made this flexibility possible when they passed a bill allowing school districts to set their own start times.

Williams says the board has to take testing dates into account, to give teachers time to get students ready.

”We want to give the proper time so they can pace out what they’re learning, how they’re learning it so it matches that testing time frame."

The challenge will come, when teachers balance what they’d like to have, with the time they need to get the job done.

”A long summer sounds real good and long term is the impact of what the job demands in preparing the students for testing. That is definitely something we have to consider,” Hoffman said, because nobody wants to jeopardize all-important test scores by not having enough time to prepare.