Tupelo likely to start next school year early

By Chris Kieffer/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – Tupelo students will begin the 2013-14 school year during the first week of August, according to two drafts of school calendars being considered by the district.
The district may adopt its new calendar in February.
Under one draft, students would begin on Monday, Aug. 5 and would end the school year on Tuesday, May 20, 2014. On the other, they would start on Thursday, Aug. 8 and end on Friday, May. 23.
Both drafts would reserve Dec. 23 to Jan. 3 for Christmas holidays, with teachers returning to class on Monday, Jan. 6 and students doing so on Jan. 7. That would allow three full weekends during the break.
Other holidays could include Labor Day on Sept. 2, Columbus Day on Oct. 14, Thanksgiving on Nov. 25-29, Martin Luther King on Jan. 20, President’s Day on Feb. 17, Spring Break on March 10-14 and Easter on April 18 and 21.
Possible dates for graduation are May 16 and May 23.
Tupelo Superintendent Gearl Loden said he is still gathering information from other school districts to coordinate the calendar with them. A date for Industry-Education Day also has not yet been set.
Next year, the Mississippi Department of Education will allow only two 60-percent days. Tupelo may use those for parent-teacher conferences, which may prevent the district from having early release days on the final day of the first and second semesters as it has done in past years.
Next year is the final year before a new state law mandates that schools can not begin classes before the third Monday in August. This year that would have fallen on Aug. 19.
chris.kieffer@journalinc.com