Olentangy Valley News

Truncated summer will mean midterms before break

School will start Aug. 14, aligning end of semester, start of winter recess


Summer break has just begun for Olentangy Local School District students and staff, but it may be over sooner than they think.

The 2013-14 school year begins Aug. 14 this year. That's one week earlier than in previous years.

Olentangy is moving permanently to the new schedule to align the end of the first semester with the start of winter break.

Previously, students left for a two-week break just before their first-semester midterms. They returned after taking time off to complete the tests.

Officials say the realignment will benefit teachers and students.

"The academic benefit is that you're not sending kids away for two weeks before they take their exams," said district communications director Karen Truett.

She added that under the old system, some teachers scheduled their exams for the week before break -- but in doing so, they gave students less time to learn the material and made post-break schedules awkward.

The earlier start date may have Powell workers scrambling to finish roadwork scheduled for the summer construction season.

At its June 4 meeting, Powell City Council discussed plans to add extra roads to the city's 2013 repair plans.

If council approves the plan, the city will spend about $175,000 more -- on top of approximately $440,000 to $450,000 in regularly scheduled repairs -- to repair Woods Hollow Lane and Old Pond Lane in the Deer Run subdivision, as well as and Cavanaugh Court in the Falcon Ridge subdivision.

That prompted concern from City Engineer Rob Rice, who said he's worried the work might not be finished before school begins. That could result in children standing at bus stops near construction zones, he said.

The construction plans are not yet finalized.

Next year, summer vacation will return to its normal length. Since students will return to school earlier in August, the 2013-14 school year will end in May.

The start of summer break 2014 will coincide with Memorial Day next year, which falls on May 26.

"That'll be a nice head-start on summer, and it's good for families who are taking trips," Truett said.

The last day of school this year was June 4.

In all, Olentangy schools celebrated the achievements of 1,055 seniors at a trio of graduation ceremonies earlier this month.