For students in Lawrence's elementary schools, next year will be different. Instead of the usual fall and spring semesters, there will be three trimesters.
"Instead of four report cards, you'll get three; instead of teachers grading students after nine weeks, it'll be 12 weeks," said Adela Solis, a fourth-grade teacher at Cordley School and a member of the committee that studied the switch.
"The positives far outweighed the negatives," Solis said.
The Lawrence school board approved the change Monday.
"It'll be good for both the students and the staff," said board member Sue Morgan. "It'll allow more time for assessments and for better feedback for parents."
"It'll give teachers more time to get to know their students before launching into the grading processes," said board member Linda Robinson.
Plans call for the first trimester in the 2006-07 school year ending Nov. 2; the second on Feb. 15; the third on May 24. The school year will begin Aug. 16.
In keeping with state requirements, students still will attend school for 186 six-hours days.
Parent-teacher conferences will be Nov. 9-10, 2006, and Feb. 22-23, 2007.
"When we conference in February, we'll have a grade card to conference around," Solis said.
Under the two-semester system, she said, elementary school teachers often felt like they're just starting to recognize and adjust to their students' abilities when they're expected to grade them.
"This will give us more time to know them," she said. "It'll be better."
Also at the meeting, the board gave special recognition to:
¢Free State High School seniors Evan Hilpman and Summer Mulford for winning the one-act competition at this year's Kansas State Thespian Conference in Wichita.
¢Jean Stanton Hetzel III for her support of the Wakarusa Playground Project.
¢Capitol Federal Savings and Lawrence Community Chiropractic for their participation in the district's Lawrence Education Achievement Partners program.