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Draft 2018-19 school calendar continues student release for staff development

The draft school calendar for 2018-19 again includes student early-release days to allow for staff development.

The School Board on Dec. 12, 2017 took their first look at the draft, which includes 13 of the early-release Wednesdays. Students are dismissed one hour early on these days so teachers may meet for planning and other professional development.

Systemwide early releases for staff development were built in to the calendar for the first time this year, but their effectiveness is yet to be determined. "We decided it was premature to try to make any kind of changes," said Heather Altenburg, School Board vice chair and representative to the calendar committee. "We need to go through this year, see how it goes, and follow up with the discussion next year, once we have more input and more information."

The draft looks very much like this year's calendar, with a post-Labor Day start, three days for Thanksgiving break and the last day of school on June 12, barring any snow days.

"I think the biggest things you will notice is that November is not so choppy," Altenburg said. The fall day-and-a half scheduled for parent conferences are scheduled for late October, rather than Election Day. Election Day is instead marked as a teacher-only day, freeing space for polling at the High School. There is no Wednesday early release for professional development in November, but the traditional Veterans Day and Thanksgiving days-off remain.

This is also the second year the calendar was drafted by a committee of teachers, administrators, board members and parents. "I think that we heard especially last year that everybody was appreciative of bringing the tradition of having the calendar come through a committee," said board member Elizabeth Scifres. "It goes a long way."

Draft calendar summary:

  • First day for students of Sept. 4, 2018; and a final day of school June 12, 2019.
  • Vacation weeks are Dec. 24-Jan. 1; Feb. 18-22; and April 12-19. Thanksgiving break is Nov. 21-23.
  • Early-release Wednesdays are Sept. 19; Oct. 3 & 17; Dec. 5 & 19; Jan. 9 & 23; Feb. 6; March 6; April 3; May 1 & 15; June 5.
Click image to download DRAFT 2018-19 school calendar:
DRAFT 2018-2019 school calendar