Every year, the Board of Trustees are required to adopt a school calendar. This year, Superintendent Heath Morrison pushed the adoption of a new schedule, emphasizing that if students spent less time during winter, spring and summer breaks, teachers would not need to reteach what had already been instructed during the past school year.
At Tuesday’s school board meeting, the Board of Trustees were presented with two school calendar options.
By starting classes earlier, students will have a shorter summer break. This will mean students can take finals before winter break and allow extra academic sessions during winter break for students who need to recover credits or for those taking enrichment classes.
The schedule change ends the fall semester before the winter break to enable students to earn credit by mid-December; adds opportunities for acceleration and remediation during the school year through intersessions; and reduces the amount of learning loss by shortening the summer.
Next school year’s calendar will appear as follows:
School Year 2012-13
• School Year Begins: Aug. 12, 2013
• School Year Ends: June 13, 2014
• Fall Break: Oct. 14 - 18
• Winter Break: Dec. 23 - Jan. 10
• Spring Break: March 31 – April 11
• Summer Break: June 16 – Aug. 8
The calendar committee, charged with creating the new schedule, was made up of parents, teachers, administrators and community members. The committee held a series of town hall meetings and a survey was conducted in the spring of 2011.
The Board of Trustees were presented with 8,000 responses from 50 public meetings. The most common alteration to the calendar suggested was to start a week later in August, to shorten the summer to 8 weeks from 11, add intersessions and end the semester before the break.
Some parents say that the shortened summer would cut into family time and the best weather of the year. Morrison said the calendar change was important for meeting the district’s strategic plan.
“It would be best for every child in the district,” he said.