The Board of Education approved a school calendar for the 2019-2020 school year at the February meeting. The goal in approving a calendar is to allow families to plan and take into consideration which days students will be in attendance next school year.
A couple of items are currently missing on the school calendar. First, we have not scheduled dates for parent teacher conferences. Second, we have not scheduled dates for early dismissal days for teacher professional development.
Now for the why. The new school funding bill, which became law in August 2017, eliminated the provision of the school code which required a minimum of 5 clock hours for student attendance. This changed the way schools CAN conduct business quite a bit. For this school year, there is no minimum time requirement to count a day of student attendance. In the past, schools had to "bank" time to have early dismissal days to provide professional development. That is not currently the case. Also in the past, schools could schedule two parent teacher conference days and count them as student attendance days. This would lead to 174 days of student attendance. Currently, that is not allowable. As the law currently stands, school must have 176 days of student attendance.
The next piece of this equation is at the state level. There are currently two bills going through the House and Senate which would take the school code language back to a minimum of 5 clock hours. The district is waiting to see how that is finalized before moving forward with how parent teacher conferences are scheduled and scheduling early dismissal days for teacher professional development. I anticipate this to be settle by the end of the spring legislative session.
The calendar within this article details every day students will be in attendance. Maybe more importantly, the days in which students will not be in attendance, which hopefully allows parents to schedule vacations around days of school attendance. Depending on how the legislation ends up, we may add two more days in which students are not in attendance for parent teacher conferences. However, barring anything weird from the state, the days off listed will remain the same. Please note the first student attendance day is August 16.