School board approves 2016-17 calendar

GREENFIELD — The Greenfield-Central School Board approved a calendar for the 2016-17 school year that will have students on fall break during the annual Riley Festival.

The proposed dates had drawn concerns from community members who feared they would hamper a 65-year tradition in which Greenfield schoolchildren lay flowers at the feet of the statue of James Whitcomb Riley during the festival’s Children’s Parade of Flowers.

Greenfield-Central Superintendent Harold Olin said he received input from 81 community members on four calendar options, 35 of whom favored the approved calendar. The new schedule will give students a two-week break after each nine-week quarter and will preserve June and July for summer break.

Riley Festival organizers said over the course of the next year they will come up with a plan to preserve the parade, either by opening participation up to more children or making it a family event in which parents are involved.

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Daniel Morgan is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. He can be reached at (317) 477-3228 or dmorgan@greenfieldreporter.com.