Parameters for District Calendars

Guidelines for Developing Calendar Options

The following parameters are to be used in preparing calendar options:

  1. Traditional Calendar Development and Adoption (three year cycle)
    1. District Calendar Committee
      A district committee made up of stakeholders representing parents, teachers, classified staff, and administrators from all levels of schools and departments will be convened.
    2. Calendar Development
      One traditional calendar will be formulated each year according to the patterns and descriptions below.
      1. Common Instructional Days: The calendar committee will set 178 common days for secondary schools and 177 days for elementary schools that students will be in attendance that are not subject to change.
      2. Non-Student days: Designated by the school as: non-contract, professional development, compensatory.
      3. Start Day: The first day of the school year will generally be a Monday.
      4. End Day: The last day should not occur after the 2nd Friday of June.
      5. Winter Break: Will not exceed ten (10) consecutive school days.
      6. Spring Break: Will typically not exceed five (5) consecutive school days.
      7. Emergency Make-up Day: One day per school year that will be the same for all schools.
      8. Work Days: There will be two contract days preceding the starting of school.
      9. Classroom Preparation: At least one of the contract days that are scheduled before the new year begins should be designated for teacher needs and classroom preparation.
      10. Elementary School Planning Time: Only weeks with three or more school days may include teacher planning time.
      11. Holidays: The calendar committee will identify the holidays to include in the calendar options.
      12. End of Term: Dates for the end of the trimesters and quarters will be set each year by the Calendar Committee. These dates may be different for elementary and secondary schools.
    3. Calendar Options
      A minimum of two other options will be developed by making modification to this main calendar.
    4. Procedure for Adoption
      1. Calendar Options will be distributed to School Community Councils for their consideration.
      2. No fewer than three (3) specific calendars shall be distributed to the School Community Councils for each year.
      3. Each SCC shall have at least thirty (30) working days to consider the options.
      4. Each SCC shall submit to Human Resources its recommendation for which calendar to adopt for each year.
      5. The district calendar committee shall recommend for adoption by the Board of Education the calendar which receives the highest weighted approval for each year.
  2. School Calendars
    1. By May 1 each year, each school must submit to Human Resources an annual calendar.
    2. Each School Calendar shall include the following elements:
      1. All Regular and Short Days for elementary and middle school students.
      2. All Regular, Early Outs, and Late Starts for high school students.
      3. Beginning and ending times of Regular and Short Days.
      4. Starting and ending time of teacher day.
      5. Dates and times of Professional Development Days.
      6. Dates and times of Parent/Teacher Conferences and SEP conferences. (Note: SEOP conferences are scheduled by sites for individual students and should not impact calendar parameters.)
      7. Date and Time of Back to School Night.
      8. Dates and Times of Graduation, promotion, advancement activities.
      9. Times of Instructional Blocks, daily classes, etc.
      10. Start and End date for Kindergarten.
      11. Dates teachers are off in lieu of SEPs, Parent/Teacher Conferences and Back to School Night.
  3. Policies and Procedures for Modification of School Calendars
    1. Policy and Legal Requirements: All relevant laws, policies and negotiated agreements must be followed unless waived by appropriate authority.
    2. All calendar parameters identified above in I.b. and II.b. must be addressed.
    3. Procedure for seeking a variance within an established school calendar.
      Periodically schools may need a variance from their established school calendar. When that happens, it is important that all parties affected be involved with the necessary planning. The following procedures should be followed in determining whether or not to adjust the calendar.
      1. Discuss the need with School Support Services.
      2. Clear the proposed variance with the departments of Facility Services, Child Nutrition, Human Resources, Purchasing, Exceptional Children, and Transportation, noting projected cost increases, if any.
      3. Submit a written request of the variance through School Support Services for the Superintendent’s approval. Include the following:
        • rationale for the variance
        • signed clearance forms from the departments affected
        • agreement signatures from SIC and SCC
        • funding sources for any cost increases
      4. Wherever possible, the final approval should be obtained so that parents receive no less than 10 school days’ notice of the change.
    4. Procedure for establishing an alternative calendar
      In rare cases, a school may wish to establish a unique calendar. There must be a clearly established educational need related to the school or district strategic plan. The written rationale must be jointly developed and approved by the SCC, SIC and School Support Services. The proposed plan must indicate what performance results are intended to be enhanced as a result of that plan; include goals, objectives and an evaluation process; and include a time frame.
      1. Prior to proceeding with any process leading to changing calendars, the rationale must be reviewed by School Support Services.
      2. Drafts of the plan must be prepared with sample calendars and presented to the departments of Facility Services, Child Nutrition, Human Resources, Purchasing, Exceptional Children, and Transportation. Each department must sign a document agreeing with the proposed plan or submit a written rationale explaining their specific objections.
      3. The school must conduct extensive information exchange meetings for patrons and staff and establish that a clear majority support the calendar change.
      4. After the above steps have been completed, the alternative school calendar must be submitted to the Superintendent for final review and approval. Alternative calendars must receive the Superintendent’s approval by May 1 for implementation in the coming year.
      5. Secure a funding source for additional costs that are projected to be incurred as a result of a proposed calendar change.
      6. Pay days cannot be altered to accommodate individual calendars.
  4. Other Considerations
    1. Minimize the number of short weeks.
    2. School Activities: High School should utilize the 1st and 4th weeks of month; Middle schools should utilize the 2nd week and Elementary schools the 3rd week of the month. The 5th week is available to all schools. Must coordinate with feeder schools if varied.
    3. Professional Days will be scheduled as per the Written Agreement.
    4. The district office must be open any time any school is in session. Under no circumstances should a change result in a school being in session on a day the district office is closed.

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