AMES, Iowa- The topic of school start dates has had the whole state talking, from the State Fair, to the Statehouse, to schools all across Iowa. Educators are seeking early starts to allow more instruction, while some are seeking to start school after the State Fair has concluded.
Monday night the Ames School Board got an update from Supt. Dr. Tim Taylor who is attempting to apply for a waiver from the State Dept. of Education, so Ames can start prior to September 1.
“We could apply for a waiver so long as we could use student achievement and valid and reliable achievement data to support our claim that starting earlier is better than starting during the week of September 1,” said Taylor
Taylor said he began to apply for a waiver this past weekend, something which has been rather simple in the past. “I ran into some pretty serious questions that included everything has to have valid and reliable achievement data to support why starting earlier is better than starting late,” said Taylor.
“Many of the reasons that we thought were very valid reasons why our kids wanted to start earlier, why we wanted to start earlier, all identified as insignificant,” said Taylor. “But when you take all the insignificant reasons and put them together it’s really major.”
Taylor said there are several reasons why a start prior to Sept. 1 is important. He said students wanting to get ready to take Advanced Placement exams needed the time to prepare. Without that some might have to alter college plans.
Taylor told the Ames Board he would still try to apply for an early start waiver, even though the experience so far has been frustrating.