Overview

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For the past five years, the Sleepy Eye Public School (SEPS) has been operating under a school calendar
with special permission from the Minnesota Department of Education. The calendar is called the Flexible
Learning Year (FLY) Initiative and allows SEPS to begin school for students two weeks (10 instructional
days) prior to Labor Day. Currently, twenty-one other Southwest Minnesota Districts participate in the
FLY Initiative with SEPS.

The SEPS school board has determined it wants feedback from stakeholders (students, parents, staff and
community) to determine stakeholder perceptions related to the benefits or detriments of the FLY Initiative
and calendar.

Please be advised that any decisions the school board makes to continue with the "Flexible Learning Year
Calendar", or a decision it may make to return to a more "traditional calendar", would not take effect until the
2019-2020 school year. The 2018-2019 calendar is already established as part of our agreement with Minnesota
Departement of Education and will not be changed.

The reasons SEPS first participated in the FLY Initiative calendar are listed below:

1. The school board believed moving 10 instructional days from the end of the year to the beginning of the year
would allow teachers to make better use of those days since they were all scheduled prior to highstakes
tests (MCA tests, ACT tests, etc.). Further, the school board believed the days would be more productive as students are ready to
begin school in August and school days in late May and early June were believed to be less productive.

2. The school board believed students and families would like ending first semester at the holiday break and
beginning second semester when students returned to school in early January after the holiday break. In
comparison, under a "traditional calendar", the holiday break occurs two weeks prior to the end of the first semester
meaning students return from the break and finish the semester two weeks later. This interruption in the semester
seemed disruptive to the flow of the semester.

3. The school board believed high school students enrolling in post secondary early options (PSEO) programs would
benefit from starting school and ending school on the same schedules as the colleges they were attending.




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