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Community feedback guides district’s calendar process

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More than 9,500 families, students and staff members participated in the district’s recent survey about possible changes to the school calendar. The opinions they shared on the survey will guide the district’s calendar committee as it develops possible adjustments to the district’s calendar.

Key facts: 

  • More than 9,500 people took the survey

  • Approximately 100 people attended the focus groups

  • Community feedback will inform what possible calendar options the calendar committee develops 

  • Once these options are ready, there will be an opportunity for the community to provide feedback 

  • At this time, the district is not considering a four-day week or a transition to year-round school

  • Although some changes could be implemented for next school year (2023-2024), it is likely that other changes would take longer to develop and would be implemented at a later date

What people said on the calendar survey

Satisfaction with the district’s current calendar

When asked how satisfied they were with the district’s current calendar, this is how people responded:

  • 46.7 percent - Neutral

  • 40.2 percent - Satisfied 

  • 13.1 percent - Dissatisfied 

 

Summer Break and Other Extended Breaks

  • Nearly 70 percent of respondents said they favored the district’s current May to August summer break over other options. In written feedback some expressed an interest in a slightly later start and end to the school year due to weather concerns

  • When asked whether it was more important to have more breaks throughout the year or a longer summer break, the community had this to say:

    • 47.9 percent said it was more important to have more breaks throughout the year than a longer summer break

    • 34.6 percent said it was more important to have a longer summer break than more breaks throughout the year

    • 17.5 percent said they had no opinion

 

Early Release Day (ERD) 

People were asked to rank their preferences for the time during which teachers should receive regular professional learning and collaboration time. Currently, Wednesday afternoons serve this purpose.

  • Approximately 45 percent selected the weekly ERD as their top choice

  • Approximately 34 percent selected one full day a month as their top choice

  • Approximately 22 percent selected lengthening existing breaks as their top choice

The graph below scores a weighted average for each option presented to survey respondents. This reflects how often people selected each option as their first, second, or third choice.

 

A graph shows a weighted average for various options for time in which teachers could receive professional development.

 

Interest in a four-day week

Please note that Adams 12 Five Star Schools is not actively considering a four-day week.

When asked whether they would support a four-day week in exchange for longer school days or a longer school year:

  • 42.3 percent opposed

  • 38.9 percent supported

  • 18.8 percent were neutral

 

Identifying Top Priorities 

The community was asked to identify their top priorities for the district calendar.

A graph shows the top priorities for possible changes to the district calendar.

What people said in the district focus groups

Based on the feedback gathered during the survey about the calendar, the district invited community members to attend a community Board of Education meeting to share their thoughts in more detail during small focus groups. More than 100 people attended this focus group session and offered valuable feedback for the district to consider moving forward. 

The topics covered during this meeting were based on top priorities identified by the community during the survey: Early Release Days, changes to extended breaks/summer break, alignment across grade levels (working to ensure students in different grades have the same days in school). Here’s an overview of what people shared during this meeting:

 

Early Release Days

Benefits 

  • Provides valuable, timely professional learning opportunities and collaboration time for school staff 

  • Nice break during the middle of the week, especially for middle school students who get out later in the day than other levels 

  • Good time for parents to schedule appointments for their children 

Drawbacks

  • Creates a logistical challenge for parents (childcare, arranging rides, etc.)

  • Compromises learning time (hard to get as much done during a shortened school day)

  • Many parents are not able to secure childcare spots in BASE 

  • Difficult for students with disabilities (schedule disruptions, reduced learning time, etc.)

Alignment Across Levels

Benefits

  • Easier for families (childcare, family travel, etc.) 

  • Strong interest in creating alignment across district high schools

  • More consistent for families 

Drawbacks

  • Creating alignment could mean changing the length of school days for some students. There is concern about anything that would make the middle school day longer. 

  • People expressed a strong desire to know more about what would need to change to have schedule alignment across levels. 

Extended Breaks

Benefits

  • Good for mental health

  • Reduces “summer slide,” which is a term used for learning loss over the summer break

  • Interest in a fall break

  • Interest in repurposing some of the days off in January to be used for a longer break at another time in the year

Drawbacks

  • Sometimes behavior issues spike before/after breaks

  • Childcare concerns

  • Not interested in something that would dramatically shorten summer break

What’s next?

The calendar committee will take the feedback gathered from both the survey and the focus groups to begin developing some possible options for future district calendars. Once these options have been developed, the community will have an opportunity to provide feedback.