Know More: three new school calendar options

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The four day school option was an idea that circulated during last year's district 51 budget cuts. Now it's back as the school district looks to get parent and community feedback on its different calendar options for the coming years.

Know More about these different calendars and how family schedules could look in the future.

The school district calendar committee developed these options in hopes of increasing student contact time. The options include a traditional calendar, four day and extended five day with variations of each. Before making a decision, the school board wants to hear from the community.

The three different options all have the same goal of improving academic achievement.

"[We were] looking at ways to provide opportunities throughout the school year for intervention and enrichment programs," School District 51 calendar committee chair and Fruita Monument High School Principal Jan Keirns said.

The calendar committee came up with three basic structures and wants to hear from the community how the changes would impact their families.

One. The traditional calendar, much like the one currently in place. The main difference this time would be the start date, with students heading back one week earlier in the summer. The school district would then work to balance out the quarters and place more instructional days before state testing.

"Would there be a way to add more days? Right now first semester is shorter than second semester,” Keirns said.

Two. The four-day calendar. Like the traditional schedule, this one would also start earlier in the summer (either July 22 or August 5) but would lengthen the hours during the school day.
Unlike last year when this option was thrown out to parents, it is not related to budget cuts.

Three. The five day extended week. This option would take time from the summer break, but would give two week fall, Thanksgiving and spring breaks. One week would be an off week for students to re-charge and enjoy their break. The other five days would be used for student remediation and enrichment opportunities.

"It adds a two week break at the end of each quarter,” Fruita Monument High School counselor and MVEA calendar committee member Bob Corneille said. “It would be a great opportunity for them to maybe do something at CMU or for us to provide some sort of enrichment activity."

Calendar Option Breakdowns

- Traditional Early Calendar
o August 12 – May 16
o Student hours: Elementary 6/Secondary 6.5
o Elementary early release and high school late start
o Schedule is arranged so there are more instructional days before state testing, balanced quarters
- Four-day Week Calendar
o July 22 – May 29 OR August 5 – May 29
o Student hours: Elementary 7/Secondary 7
o NO elementary early release or high school late start
o School ends AFTER Memorial Day
o Increase in instructional hours per day, four-day school weeks
- Five-day Extended Calendar
o August 5 – May 22
o Student hours: Elementary 6/Secondary 6.5
o Elementary early release and high school late start
o 2 week Fall break in October, 3 day Thanksgiving break, 2 week Spring break in March or April
o Increases number of instructional weeks with more time before testing

On Thursday, January 10th, the school board will be hosting an open house for parents. You can go to Shelledy Elementary school in Fruita, Pomona Elementary and Bookcliff Middle schools both in Grand Junction, or Palisade High School from 5-7 p.m to learn more.

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