Though the 2019-20 school year is about two months old, the Bexley City Schools district already has begun planning for next year.

At their Oct. 21 meeting, school board members approved an updated calendar for the 2020-21 school year, which will run Aug. 20, 2020, through June 3, 2021, beginning and ending later than the current year.

The 2019-20 school year began Aug. 13 and is scheduled to end May 29. Many parents and staff have said starting school in mid-August didn't give them enough time to prepare, Superintendent Kimberly Pietsch Miller said.

"If we did not change this calendar, we would only have five business days prior to the start of school" for staff to prepare, she said.

"It's just a stressor that doesn't make the start of school the type of start we want for our students. This is a more student-centered start to the school year."

Miller said starting the school year a week later next year gives staff an opportunity to review goals outlined in the district's strategic plan, which the school board approved last August.

The later start also gives the district's intervention specialists more time to evaluate students' individual program plans, she said.

"There are a number of specific plans that students have in place," Miller said.

To ensure the plans are properly administered, "we need those additional days to do that."

Starting the school year later can help staff brush up on safety training, Miller said.

"Safety and security training really needs to take place before our students arrive so that our staff is fully prepared in the event of a safety situation," she said.

In other business, board members discussed moving their meetings from the second Monday of each month to Tuesdays beginning in early 2020.

The board's 2020 organizational meeting will proceed as scheduled Jan. 6, the first Monday in January, but others will likely move to Tuesdays starting in February, board President John Barno said.

Moving the meetings to Tuesday would give Miller, treasurer Kyle Smith and other administrative staff an extra business day to prepare and review items for board agendas, he said.

"This works out for everyone," Barno said.

District administrative staff will prepare a list of proposed dates for the board's 2020 meetings, which board members will discuss and approve at an upcoming meeting, Barno said.

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