Parkway e-News Story

Changes to 2011-12 Calendar Approved

A district calendar committee comprised of teachers and administrators met last month to review the 2011-12 academic calendar and to begin developing a 2012-13 calendar.

When reviewing the 2011-12 calendar, concerns were noted in several areas explained below. Changes to address those concerns were recommended to and approved by the board of education on May 4. 

Concerns included:

  • Unbalanced semesters, with 86 student contact days in the first semester compared with 92 contact days in the second semester;
  • May 25 is an ineffective choice for a curriculum-writing professional development day, since it is the day following the last day of school; and
  • Lost instructional time and increased costs on Good Friday due to a historical pattern of unusually low student attendance and high teacher absenteeism. This has caused the district to hire nearly five times the normal number of substitute teachers.

Changes recommended and approved are listed below. Please note no changes have been made to the first day or last day of school or to spring break. The revised 2011-12 calendar is posted on the Parkway website.

  • Adding an instructional day to the first semester by shifting winter break one day later. This will provide more balanced semesters, with 87 and 90 student contact days for the first and second semester, respectively.
  • Moving the May 25 professional development day to Jan. 4. This keeps winter break the same length as before, and also creates a more effective day for curriculum writing than the day after the last day of school. It also allows teachers to still use May 25 as a closeout day.
  • Adding a “no school” day on the Friday before Easter (April 6), to improve student attendance and prevent lost instructional time