Save Kentucky Summers

As many children across South Central Kentucky head back to school, one area group is pushing for a longer summer break.

A grassroots coalition that began in Barren County says the school year should start a little later.

Dr. Barret Lessenberry has children in the Glasgow School District and is a former member of the calendar committee. He now works with a coalition of parents, students, and educators called Save Kentucky Summers. The goal of this group is to have the school year start later.

Dr. Lessenberry says: "We know there's a point where it's unrealistic to go past a certain point. No one wants to be going to school June 20, but I don't think children who are going to jump into a swimming pool are too keen on doing it on May 15."

Bill Walter, the Assistant Superintendent for Barren County Schools, says there are certain guidelines districts have to follow under No Child Left Behind."

Walter says: "It requires states to have assessment results back to schools and districts before the start of school for the next school year."

That way if parents have transfer rights, they have time to decide if they want their children to change schools.

Walter says Kentucky Law requires a company called Measured Progress to have full CATS results back to the districts by September. He says: "Based on that if for example we were to move or the state were to move the assessment window back a few weeks, which would allow us to begin school a few weeks later, it would be awfully difficult for them to get the results back in time to meet the requirement for NCLB as well as the state."

Dr. Lessenberry says Save Kentucky Summers wants the state to have more say so there's a uniform plan across the Commonwealth as to when school begins. He says: "If the state is involved. If the state has a uniform plan, all the schools will have a level playing field."

Walter says he thinks if legislators, school boards, and concerned parents all got together they would be able to work out a compromise.

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