The start date for students is Aug. 11, and the last of school is May 26. Additionally, the calendar retains a traditional holiday schedule with weeklong Thanksgiving and spring breaks and two weeks for winter break, according to district documents.
Members of the public can view the proposed calendar on pages 71-72 of the board’s agenda packet.
Trustee Grayle James, who will not seek re-election to the board of trustees when her term expires in May, asked why this calendar, which was presented to the community as Option C, was selected over other proposed options that may have had more innovative uses of time. For example, the proposed calendar Option B had several designated intercession days—days set aside for student intervention and support—and a later last day of school.
Trustee Angie Hanan, who served on the calendar committee, said feedback from teachers, parents and students on the calendar selection process pointed overwhelmingly to this calendar option.
Furthermore, Superintendent Charles Dupre said that while there is much more innovation the district can bring into the calendar over time, the organization is not ready for that change this year.
“To me, we are maxed out on innovation today,” Dupre said. “We are going to press on, but I just don’t feel good about another hard change with the calendar at this point. ... I absolutely agree we need to break the mold on the calendar at some point, but to me, the calendar we’ve presented has been through a rigorous and robust process that we need to move forward with.”
While James joined five other trustees in voting in favor of approving next year’s school calendar, she urged the district to continue to use the calendar as a tool of innovation. Trustee Denetta Williams did not participate in the vote.
“I want us to go forward with the innovation. I want us to seize this opportunity for change and step forward,” James said. “When we are already halfway through the door, isn’t it easier for us to keep going instead of taking the path of least resistance and pulling back because it’s the thing we know?"