New school calendar changes

The 2017-18 school year incorporates several calendar changes, including a mid-August start date, later start times, homework breaks, a new model for parent teacher conferences and first semester exams held prior to winter vacation.

The calendar changes follow extensive community, parent and staff feedback through surveys, public listening sessions and written communication over a two-year period.

To read the 2017-18 and 2018-19 school calendar changes, click on our August 2017 report: pdf

This process was a result of requests from parents and staff to consider alternatives to the past calendar, following decisions by other districts to shift their school year start and end dates.

The new calendar will balance our community's desire to hold finals before winter break and start school at a reasonable time. Spring break remains the last week in March, our longstanding practice, and graduation moves to Memorial Day weekend, in line with other districts and allowing travel time for family.

From the beginning, our goal has been to re-imagine a school schedule that has a positive impact on the health and well-being of both students and staff. At the same time, we felt it was important to engage our community in a transparent conversation about all options.

It is our responsibility to prepare every student for success in college, careers and life, and we are committed to creating a schedule and setting that best fits that mission.

As the new calendar is implemented, some adjustments and revisions may need to be made moving forward. The implementation of the new school calendar will be reviewed and revisions made where appropriate.

Please continue to provide us with your thoughts and perspectives throughout the year.

History

Research suggests students who get enough sleep can see better homework results, concentration and alertness.

In fall 2015, we engaged in a comprehensive discussion and survey process to gather feedback from staff, parents, students and our community regarding potential shifts in our school calendar, school start times and other aspects of the school day in an effort to better serve students and families.

Survey highlights include:

•  Parents, students and staff preferred keeping a traditional calendar but moving finals before winter break or the collegiate-style calendar as their top choices. The option of a year-round calendar came in last among all surveyed groups.

•  A slim majority of parents (51 percent) felt their children received adequate sleep under the current school schedule, while 61 percent of students indicated they struggle to wake up and get ready for the day with the current school start times.

•  More than 70 percent of students, parents and staff indicated students should not have to face the stress of preparing for finals during winter break.

Full Survey Results can be viewed here:pdf

Based on the 6,500 responses received during the community engagement process through the online survey, listening sessions, and numerous conversations with students, staff and parents, the Calendar Committee developed a series of additional recommendations regarding the school day start and end times, timing of student participation in co-curricular activities and homework-free breaks throughout the year. 

The Board of Education adopted the school calendars for the 2017-2018 and 2018-19 school years at its meeting on January 28, 2016.

From there, the Calendar Committee continued to meet to incorporate additional feedback to transform the educational experience of our students.

January 2017 Calendar Committee Recommendations can be viewed here: pdf

On January 5, 2017, the Board of Education adopted school start and dismissal times for the 2017-18 school year.

In July 2017, the Calendar Committee issued a final report for the 2017-18 and 2018-19 school years.