On Monday, March 5, the school board approved Calendar C as the 2012-13 instructional calendar. At a previous meeting, the Board had asked that the administration and the Alliance, as the elected Consultation organization, meet again to try to come to agreement on a calendar to recommend due to the split results of the district survey of employees. No calendar received a majority. The overall totals for the three calendars were almost evenly divided. The totals amongst teachers were divided, but less evenly – Calendar A: 26%; Calendar B: 32%; and Calendar C: 41%.
When the administration and union met after the last Board meeting, the administration brought no new proposals forward while the Alliance took three new options in order to try to meet the varied interests on the table. Interests included: alignment with Northside and North East calendars; time for planning/prep both individually and collectively, at the end of each grading period; maximizing student attendance; minimizing negative impact on student behavior and discipline; honoring traditional holidays; maximizing instructional time for students prior to state testing; more professional learning time at the beginning of the school year; and relevant, engaging professional development. In additional to interests that the administration had expressed, the Alliance has gathered feedback via survey and emails. The new options the Alliance presented included some of the features that are used in other area district calendars – early dismissal days and professional development choice days (staff can bank PD hours from non-duty time such as Saturdays, summers, after school, and then use those hours on the PD choice day) – in an attempt to meet as many of the interests as possible. In the end, agreement was not reached.
Calendar C, which the Board adopted, has teachers starting on August 20 and ending on June 10 and stu-dents starting on August 27 and ending on June 7. Calendar C does not have Columbus Day (Oct. 8) and President’s Day (Feb. 18) as student holidays and has Memorial Day (May 27) as a student holiday/staff development day. The Alliance recommended that May 27 be a professional development choice day so that staff could bank hours that they could use to be off that day. This recommendation was not included in the Board motion, but the Alliance leaders will continue to pursue this change to the calendar.
Alliance leaders appreciated the wide variety of feedback and viewpoints we received from employees.