Omaha Public Schools students will spend more time in the classroom the next few years.
The Omaha school board on Monday evening approved a calendar for the next three school years that includes three additional instructional days and one more day for teacher planning and training.
The board voted 9-0 to approve the calendar.
“It's absolutely a good thing for our district and our students,” said Dennis Pool, OPS assistant superintendent.
OPS scheduled the days at the beginning of the school year so students have more time to prepare for state tests in the spring.
Under the new calendar, OPS elementary students have 172.7 instructional days; middle and high school students have 176.
“This is teachers acknowledging that our kids need more time in the classroom,” said Chris Proulx, president of the Omaha Education Association, OPS's teachers union.
With the three extra student days, OPS will have almost as many student days as some of its peers.
The Lincoln school district has 180 instructional days for middle and high school students and 176 for elementary students, said a district spokeswoman.
All students in the Bellevue Public Schools have 179 days, a district spokeswoman said. And students in the Millard Public Schools go to school for 180 days, a district spokeswoman said.
In the 2013-14 school year, OPS students will go back to school Aug. 14 and finish May 23. They also will have a two-week winter break and a weeklong spring vacation in March.
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