Approved 2017-18 school calendar builds in time for teachers
A school calendar for 2017-18 that includes 14 early-release days for teacher work time was approved by the School Board Feb. 14, 2017.
The vote was unanimous, but board members agreed that no calendar is going to please everyone. "We don't believe there's such a thing as a perfect calendar," said board Chair Elizabeth Scifres. "We're a work in progress and we will reconvene next year, and hope that people will give input and join the calendar committee and see if we can improve it."
The calendar committee, made up of parents, teachers, administrators and School Board members, met five times over a two-month period to develop a calendar that tries to meet the professional-development needs of teachers and the educational needs of students, said Cathy Stankard, interim director of instruction.
"The committee determined that releasing students one hour early on one or two Wednesdays per month (in lieu of two in-service days districtwide and five additional half-days at Pond Cove) would meet the teachers’ need for regular collaboration while minimizing loss of instructional time for students," she said in a memo to the School Board.
Since the board first looked at the draft calendar last month, the committee decided to recommend a parent-teacher conference schedule similar to recent tradition, with a day and a half for fall conferences and a half day in the spring. The fall conference days have moved from the end of October to the day before Election Day and Election Day.
The draft calendar sets a post-Labor Day start for students of Sept. 5, 2017; and a final day of school June 11, 2018.
Vacation weeks are Dec. 25-Jan. 1; Feb. 19-23; and April 13-20. Thanksgiving break is Nov. 22-24.
High School Program of Studies, bullying policy updates approved
In other matters, the School Board on Feb. 14, 2017 also approved the High School Program of Studies for 2017-18; and, approved state-mandated updates to policies and procedures against bullying. Both were presented to the board for first reading in January.