GIFFORD — Classes at Gifford Grade School will begin Tuesday, Aug. 18, with a half day of school under the proposed 2020-21 school calendar.

A teacher’s institute will be held Aug. 17. The first full day of class would be Aug. 19.

The Christmas break will run Dec. 21-Jan. 5.

The final day of class will be May 24.

The calendar was among the discussion items approved at last week’s monthly meeting of the school board.

In other business, Superintendent Jay Smith reported state testing will begin April 15. There has been some testing of the online system in which students will take their tests.

He said Makenna Cravens and Landon Freeman were recognized during an Illinois Principals Association event Feb. 19 at the I-Hotel in Champaign.

Smith said 12 students were registered for kindergarten next year as of the Feb. 3-6 registration.

The district is seeking bids for a new or used activity bus for the 20-21 school year. No commercial driver’s license would be required to drive it.

Smith said the seventh-grade boys basketball team lost in the regional final game and finished with a record of 14-8. The eighth-graders lost in the regional final game and had a 5-17 record.

The board received a retirement letter for 2023 from reading and math interventionist Sandy Beherns, who has worked with the district since 2009. Rachel Ballard was approved as the new special education teacher.

Alison Barnes gave an update on standards-based grading.

The board was reminded of the date change for the March school board meeting. It will be held at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 24. Meetings are normally held at 6 p.m. the third Wednesday of the month.