FOREST CITY | Forest City Community Schools won't have a week-long spring break in 2020 unless state legislators change their minds on not allowing classes to start before Aug. 23.
The school board voted on Jan. 14 to approve the proposed calendar for 2019-20 with the stipulation that the district can make changes if the state allows classes to start before Aug. 23.
Forest City School Superintendent Darwin Lehmann said the current state requirement means if seniors are to get in their mandated 175 days of school before the traditional graduation date of the Sunday before Memorial Day weekend, a week-long spring break "isn't even an option."
"There's not a lot of local control in the calendar," he said.
Lehmann said the Iowa State Fair ends on Aug. 18 this year, so if it weren't for the state law on the school starting date, classes could resume as early as Monday, Aug. 19.
He also said Aug. 23 is not a good day to start school this year because it falls on a Friday.
Since Memorial Day is on May 25 in 2020, the Forest City graduation is scheduled for May 17. Lehmann said graduation will not be moved to another date no matter what.
The 2019-20 school calendar does include a four-day weekend from Friday, Feb. 28 through Monday, March 2, at the end of the second trimester, as well as a four-day Easter weekend from Friday, April 10 through Monday, April 13.
The last day of school in Forest City in 2020 will be May 15 for seniors and May 22 for all other students.
Christmas break for 2019-20 will be Dec. 23-Jan. 1.
Other no-school days for 2019-20 will be Oct. 24-25 as those are professional development days for staff; Nov. 15, which is the day after the end of the first trimester; and Nov. 28-29 for Thanksgiving.