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Board receives calendar proposals for next two academic years

Sept. 14, 2021 - The School Board received two proposals each for the 2022-23 and 2023-24 academic calendars at the Sept. 13 meeting. The proposals were presented by representatives of the district wide Calendar Committee, whose 16 members met five times since the beginning of August.

Both proposed options include a pre-Labor Day start (due to construction), with school years ending June 1, 2023, and May 31, 2024; two-day MEA breaks; two-week Winter Breaks; and one-week Spring Breaks.

The difference between the proposals is the plan for staff professional development time. Option A includes four early release days, similar to past calendars. Option B eliminates early release days and instead converts those eight total hours to one professional development day. Committee members liked this option in that it simplifies schedules for all stakeholders - families, students, staff and transportation.

A new element in the proposal is to use the first two days of school for kindergarten through grade 5 as Connect and Assess Days. On these days, teachers would meet with each student and family to set goals and complete any assessments needed. This is currently in practice at Normandale Elementary and in several area districts. The committee views it as an important opportunity to build relationships and understand student needs from the start of the new school year.

The Calendar Committee is facilitated by Randy Smasal, assistant superintendent. Members of the committee are:

Sayali Amarapurkar, Cultural Liaison and Parent
Jenn Carter, EHS, Assistant Principal
Melissa Craig, Parent
Kari Dahlquist, Principal, Creek Valley
Jill Deitering, Parent
Patty Frier, Gr. 4-5 Teacher, Highlands
Rachel Hicks, Youth Programs Coordinator
Angela Hruby, Gr. 3-5 Teacher, Highlands
Jodie Mettee, Special Education Teacher, Valley View
Kate Strand, Early Childhood Special Education Coordinator
Nikie Tuescher, Director, Human Resources
Mary Woitte, Director, Communications
Tony Wolfbauer, Math Teacher, EHS
Harper Yang, EHS Senior
Jamie Young, Gr. 2 Teacher, Countryside

In July, the Board approved a Guiding Change Document which provided direction for the committee. From there, the committee had wide ranging discussions on considerations including: assessments and collection of learning data; time for teacher team collaboration; teacher conferences; relationship building with students; student activities, and construction timelines, to name a few.

A Calendar Committee will convene again in fall 2022 to create calendar proposals for the 2024-25 school year, keeping the district two years ahead in approved academic calendars.

The Board is expected to take action on the 2022-23 and 2023-24 calendars at the Oct. 11 meeting.

View the Calendars Proposal Presentation (p. 151).