The state Board of Education has approved regional plans that put Connecticut on a path to a uniform calendar for public schools.
In acting yesterday, the board received a report from a task force that included education stakeholders. Section 321 of PA 13-247 established a Uniform Regional School Calendar Task Force to develop guidelines for a uniform regional calendar for use by each regional educational service center, in the development of uniform regional school calendars. Per PA 13-247, such guidelines for a uniform regional school calendar shall include, but not be limited to at least 180 days of actual school sessions during each school year; a uniform start date; uniform days for professional development and in-service training for certified employees, pursuant to sections 10-148a and 10-220a of the general statues; and not more than three uniform school vacation periods during each school year, not more than two of which shall be a one-week school vacation period and one of which shall be during the summer.
Reportedly school districts can delay implementation of the regional calendars until the fall of 2017 if an existing employee contract makes it impossible to start earlier.
Across Connecticut, support for the notion of a uniform state calendar is not unanimous. Clearly, there will be challenges in local school districts. In fact, one official reportedly stated yesterday that there will be “negative repercussions.”
Read the report that the state Board of Education received yesterday. Share with your colleagues at BlogCEA the reactions you’re hearing at your school about the idea of a uniform school calendar?
Although I prefer our local district to have control over issues, I support a uniform calendar. I work and live in different districts, and it would be beneficial for my family to have the same breaks. I also believe that school calendars should not support any religious holidays. Allow parents to keep their children out for their own personal reasons. And if staff need to take a religious holiday that falls on a school day, there should be flexibiltiy. I am unsure how the state could mandate the professional development dates, however. My district has one day before the start of the school year while other districts have several days. This could be a cost issue for many smaller districts.