School Year Calendar
The 2017-2018 school-year calendar
Anticipating significant transportation difficulties with the with the bridge construction and facilities constructions, the 2017-18 school calendar. Delaying the start of the school year is an exceptional response to the exceptional challenges that students, families and staff will face next August.
A revised calendar was created by a collaborative group of teachers, administrators, and staff, using feedback from nearly 200 parents. The revised calendar was approved by the Board of Education.
A successful school-year calendar will:
- Maximize learning time and provide continuous student contact days as much as possible;
- Provide regular opportunities for effective and continuous professional development for teachers to expand professional expertise, work collaboratively with colleagues and share best practices, analyze evidence of student learning and make timely adjustments to teaching and learning strategies to promote student achievement;
- Take into consideration the best interest of our students, parents and communities.
Early Release/Enrichment Wednesdays Continue:
Weekly Time for Professional Development: To allow for professional development time on Wednesday afternoon, students will be released early at 1:45 p.m. for schools that release at 3:15 p.m.; and 2 p.m. for schools that release at 3:30 p.m. This time can be combined with after school time to allow staff to participate in longer, more meaningful activities. Students will be offered a variety of enrichment activities during that time at the school.
Research shows that scheduled ongoing and continuous professional development time is more effective than once in a while for teachers and staff.
According to the report “Teaching the Teachers” by the National School Board Association Center of Public Education, the duration of professional development must be significant and ongoing to allow time for teachers to learn a new strategy and grapple with the implementation problem. The report suggested:
- Professional development needs to be ongoing and carried out over time, rather than presented in one-day workshops;
- Professional development should be delivered "in the context of the teacher's subject area;" and
- Peer coaches and mentors "are found to be highly effective in helping teachers implement a new skill" and so should be employed when possible.
Jim Hull NSBAs senior policy analyst said, “The barriers to delivering more effective professional development are not insurmountable, and the payoff will be significant. An investment in teacher professional development will have a ‘substantial’ impact on student learning.” An analysis of over 200 research studies demonstrated that additional time dedicated to professional development did more for advancing high quality instruction than any other use of school resources.
In addition, The Teaching, Empowering, Leading and Learning (TELL) Colorado survey conducted anonymously statewide this year and when educators were asked if sufficient resources were available for professional development, 77 percent responded favorably a significant increase after the first year of early release Wednesdays compared to 53 percent in 2013.
The schedule allows for a total of at least three extra hours of professional development time per month including:
- 15 additional minutes per week of professional development time;
- the flexibility to be combined with after school time (up to two extra hours per month);
- time for data analysis and collaboration across grade levels; and
- the opportunity to hold district-wide activities such as sharing of effective strategies.
In addition, there is an Instructional Development Day for staff at the end of each quarter.
Alignment with Community Vision for our Schools:
In our community visioning sessions last fall parents and community members overwhelmingly expressed support for attracting and retaining the best teachers as well as providing additional resources and time for professional development to provide the best education for our children.
Impact on Families:
Both early release and late start schedules can be difficult for families. In order to minimize the impact we are working with the community-wide Cradle to Career Initiative and other community resources to offer expanded learning and enrichment opportunities to our K-8 students during that time.