Year-round education under serious review by local school districts

School districts around the state, including Olympia, Yelm, Tumwater and North Thurston, are looking at a new educational concept called “Balanced Calendar.” 
It’s the newest name for Year-Round Schools, but educators are quick to point out that it's different.
Under the Balanced Calendar, students would go to school for 45 days followed by 10-15 days off.  There would be four periods of 45 days during the year, bringing the total educational year to 180 days.  There would be an extended vacation period during the summer break.  But, there would be no additional classroom days.

Currently, North Thurston Public School has created a 50-member advisory committee to look at the concept.  It’s chaired by North Thurston assistant superintendents  Monty Sabin and Vicky Lamoreaux.  Members of the committee include teachers, education staff, parents, students and community members.  The committee has met once and has a meeting scheduled later this month.

The idea for the study rests with the Superintendent of Public Instruction’s office which is rolling out the concept on a statewide basis.  SPI has awarded $75,000 grants to school districts to undertake the study.

The tentative date for the completion of the study is May of 2022.  At that time, school districts around the state will jointly present their ideas and possible support for a Balanced Calendar school year.

The above was originally published last Friday by Ken Balsley on his Ken's Corner & The Real News website which he has published since March 2008. Balsley is a member of the founding Board of Advisors of  The JOLT and Thurston County's longest-serving journalist. 


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  • BobJacobs

    This proposal is exactly the "45-15" idea that was so popular decades ago but mostly failed when districts tried to implement it. I spent a lot of time examining various alternatives to the standard 180-day school year.

    You say it is different. How exactly is it different?

    Wednesday, October 13, 2021 Report this