The 2021-22 Sun Prairie Area School District calendar will begin Aug. 23 and end on May 26, 2022 — extending summer break by two weeks to allow completion of school construction projects — according to a 2021-22 calendar approved June 22, 2020 by the Sun Prairie School Board.
The district’s Workforce Excellence Team began work on the calendar in March, with the goal of creating a calendar that included the extended summer break to complete construction projects at Central Heights Middle School (currently Cardinal Heights Upper Middle School at 220 Kroncke Drive) that will include a new home for Prairie Phoenix Academy and a district training center. The construction work also includes completion of the new Sun Prairie West High School, set to open in Fall of 2022.
A staff report to the board from Director of Human Resources Chris Sadler explained that Wisconsin Administrative Code, Chapter PI 27 Commencement of school term, states that school districts must not start school until Sept. 1, but school districts may start a school year prior to Sept. 1 for “extraordinary” reasons, with one of those reasons being major construction projects that require an early start with school board approval and approved request from the Wisconsin Department of Instruction (DPI).
The Sun Prairie School Board approval of the calendar allows district administration to request a DPI waiver.
Although the calendar meets state requirements for DPI-mandated instructional time as well as professional collaboration and development time, Sadler wrote in the memo that the calendar also includes three days to deal with inclement weather.
Any additional days will need to be defined if more days are canceled due to weather, such as cold or snow days during the winter, Sadler wrote in the memo.
The calendar sets family conferences for Oct. 7 and 8, but includes one fewer optional professional development day to ensure enough DPI-mandated instructional time, according to Sadler’s memo. The calendar maintains the same 176 student contact days, with three pre-planning days before school starts and spring break taking place during the fourth week in March.
During discussion, Sun Prairie School Board Treasurer Caren Diedrich asked whether the calendar would change if the state makes any changes. “It just seems like we’re being so hasty putting this out,” Diedrich said.
Assistant Superintendent of Operations Janet Rosseter explained the additional time is because of the work needed at CHUMS, which will be remodeled into three facilities and will eventually include a fourth one — the joint SPASD-City of Sun Prairie Employee Health Clinic. Whatever work that can be done over this summer at the school will be completed, but most of the work will need to take place over next summer, Rosseter said.
Other key dates in the 2021-22 Calendar:
Friday, Aug. 27, 2021 — First Day of School for SPASD 4-Year-Old Kindergarten (4K) students.
Friday, Sept.24 — Mandatory Professional Development Day; no school.
Thursday, Oct. 7 — Family Conferences; classes in session.
Friday, Oct. 8 — Family Conferences; no school.
Friday, Oct. 22 — Mandatory Professional Development Day; no school.
Wednesday, Nov. 24-Friday, Nov. 26 — Thanksgiving break; no school.
Friday, Dec. 24, 2021-Sunday, Jan. 2, 2022 — Winter Break; no school.
Monday, Jan. 3, 2022 — Classes back in session.
Friday, Jan. 14 — Mandatory Professional Development Day; no school.
Monday, Jan. 17 — Optional Professional Development Day; no school.
Thursday, Feb. 24 — Family Conferences; no school.
Friday, Feb. 25 — Family Conferences; no school.
Friday, March 11 — Mandatory Professional Development Day; no school. This date is listed as a possible school make-up day if school is canceled more than three days during the 2021-22 school year.
Monday, March 21-Friday, March 25 — Spring Break; no school.
Friday, May 13 — Mandatory Professional Development Day; no school. This date is listed as a possible school make-up day if school is canceled more than three days during the 2021-22 school year.
Friday, May 20 — Last day of school for SPASD 4K students.
Thursday, May 26 — Last day of school for K-12 students; half-day.
May 27 — Class of 2022 Graduation Day; location to be announced.
If more than two weather days need to be made up as part of the 2021-22 school calendar, more minutes will be added to the school day for students, according to the calendar.