The first day of the 2018-19 school year in the Redwood Area School District is Aug. 20, 2018.

The last day for students is May 21, 2019.

Those dates were officially set when the Redwood Area Board of Education met this past Monday (April 2) in a special meeting.

During its February and March regular meetings the members of the school board discussed the calendar, tabling the decision at the end of discussion to allow the administration to make tweaks before final approval.

Two similar calendars were presented to the board with a new plan that removed the idea of having a week-long spring break and extending the break between the first and second semesters. 

During the 2018-19 school year students will have two weeks in between semesters – from Dec. 24-Jan. 4 – off from school, with the Jan. 4 date being a staff work day.

Rick Ellingworth, Redwood Area School District superintendent, said the teachers contract calls for one day to be placed on the calendar prior to the students returning after the semester break. The students will start semester two Jan. 7.

A five day weekend has been added to the schedule in the spring from April 19-22, and the school board emphasized that those days were to be specifically dedicated as days away from school. None of them will be considered a possible snow make-up day.

The approved calendar also has scheduled graduation for the Class of 2019 for May 19.

In one of the initial calendar drafts, the proposal would have had graduation one week later, and some parents of members of next year’s senior class raised concerns about having the ceremony during Memorial Day weekend.

For the rest of the students, there are two additional days of school, May 20-21, after graduation.

In total, there are 174 student contact days scheduled for 2018-19, with eight additional days for staff, including six professional development days and two scheduled work days.

One of the ideas raised at the meeting would be to allow the Jan. 4 day to be a flexible day for the staff, allowing teachers to work at home if they wanted to or to do that work on another day during the break.

The board directed the school administration to work on a plan of that day and to meet with the teachers union to come up with a memorandum of understanding addressing that possibility.