PALM SPRINGS, Calif. -

Palm Springs Unified School District students on the Traditional Calendar will start the new school year Aug. 18, two weeks earlier than usual.

However, students at eight year-round elementary schools are still on the Modified Traditional Calendar and will begin Aug. 4, including Agua Caliente Elementary, Cabot Yerxa Elementary, Cahuilla Elementary, Cathedral City Elementary, Cielo Vista Charter, Julius Corsini Elementary, Landau Elementary and Sunny Sands Elementary.

"Next year everyone will be on the same calendar, which will be so nice," said Joan Boiko, PSUSD communications manager.

The goal is to have every elementary, middle and high school start, finish, and go on holiday breaks at the same time by the 2015-2016 school year. This comes after nearly 20 years of having year-round schools to help reduce overcrowding.

Boiko said it's taken time and compromise to make it happen.
    
"We went through a very extensive process to do this, teachers, parents, community meetings, and we listened and we adapted," said Boiko.
   
With the traditional calendar, the early start date will allow high school students to complete their semester final exams before winter break, instead of after. Students and staff will then have three weeks off for winter break and two weeks off for spring break.

Boiko said parents were notified when the decision was first made, and will get reminders by mail and online.

The district hopes the changes will get all school grade levels and parents on the same page.

"We hope it works, we think it will. You can't make 100 percent happy, but we hope we got 98 percent."

For more information, go to www.psusd.us

As for the other two school districts, Coachella Valley Unified School District starts Thursday, Aug. 21.

The Desert Sands Unified School District starts Aug. 28.