North Thurston Public Schools (NTPS) will hold its first community forum this Wed., Jan. 19, to get insights on their plan to explore a “balanced calendar” for the upcoming school year.
The proposed calendar would distribute school days more evenly across the whole year. With a balanced calendar, students would still attend the same number of days (180) during the school year, but the typical 11-week summer break is reduced to create longer breaks in the fall, winter, and spring. For example, instead of an 11-week summer break, you might have a 7-8 week summer break and three 2-week breaks in fall, winter, and spring, according to the district.
A 50-member steering committee is leading the process. The district promises to publish a detailed proposal based on community feedback in March. The NTPS board will decide in May 2022 whether to proceed with the idea.
The Balanced Calendar Study Committee will prepare a recommendation to take to the school board in May 2022, according to the district.
Some of the benefits a balanced calendar can bring, according to the district, include:
Students, parents, and staff are invited to attend the forums to discuss opportunities and challenges that may come along with the plan.
The meetings are scheduled for these dates and locations:
Correction: We published an earlier version of this story under the headline, "Year-round school year?" which was our interpretation of the balanced calendar concept. This story is also updated to provide more details about the potential benefits a balanced calendar can deliver to students.
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