School calendar options on table
Posted: January 30, 2013
The Winchester Star
WINCHESTER — The city School Board is seeking public feedback on a proposed calendar for 2013-14.
Last week, the Winchester Public Schools Instruction Committee forwarded a proposal, considered Draft 3 of three options, to the full School Board for consideration at its Feb. 11 meeting.
Under that proposal, classes would start Aug. 12 — two weeks earlier than they do now — and end two weeks earlier, on May 28.
Thanksgiving break would be Thursday and Friday. Christmas break would be two weeks long, and April’s spring break would include the Friday before Easter, the following Monday and a teachers’ workshop day on Tuesday.
Handley High School’s 2014 graduation date would be Saturday, May 24.
The other two options include a calendar similar to the present one and one in which school starts a week earlier and ends a week earlier than it does now.
In all three proposals, student school days would total 185, including five bad-weather days. The last day of school would be determined by the number of those days used.
Under the Draft 3 proposal, the second grading period would end before the Christmas break instead of in the second or third week of January, after students return to school.
A notice asking for feedback on the proposed calendars was emailed to parents, staff and teachers via the Instant Alert notification system after School Board Chairman John Bishop requested additional input in time for the Feb. 11 meeting.
The alert system is used by schools and the division to notify parents and staff quickly and efficiently on topics such as delays, closings and special programs.
“It made sense, given the time parameters and almost immediate contact, to use the notification system,” Winchester School Superintendent Rick Leonard said of the division’s seeking public input on the calendars prior to the meeting.
Principals and department directors were also asked to solicit supplemental information specific to all three calendar options — all of which are still on the table.
Parents and staff are invited to email their calendar input to firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline for submissions is Feb. 8.
All three options are posted on the division website under the “school calendars” tab.
Leonard said he didn’t know if the calendar would be approved in February or if a decision will be pushed back until March.
The School Board must approve a calendar for the 2013-14 school year soon because the division does not yet have one.
— Contact Rebecca Layne at email@example.com