School Board Meeting- November 15, 2021

In response to results from the Virginia Growth Assessment administered this fall, the board decided to dedicate the majority of the federal stimulus funds on a “once-in-a-generation effort” to increase reading proficiency. This effort is to adopt a “year round calendar” to increase students’ time in school and allow schools to increase focus on the “social and emotional well-being” of students. 

“Given the above, and as directed by the School Board last spring, the Administration has developed three extended year calendars for consideration.”

Option A:

  • Length:
    • 190 Student Days (current calendar has 180 student days)
    • 202 Teacher Days (current calendar has 191 teacher days)
  • Start/End Dates:
    • First Day of School for Students: August 15, 2022
    • Last Day of School for Students: June 23, 2023
  • Breaks:
    • Preserves all holidays in our current calendar
    • Restores Winter Break for students to two full weeks
    • Preserves Winter Break and Spring Break alignment to surrounding divisions
  • Teacher Planning:
    • Provides a full Teacher Planning Day after the end of each quarter
    • Provides Teacher Planning Half-Day on last Friday of all other months
  • Culture and Social-Emotional Learning:
    • Begins the year with a Culture & Relationship Building Week focused on social-emotional learning. This work would be continued throughout the year with explicit, sacred time in daily/weekly schedules.
  • Cost:
    • Approximately $13 million per year, inclusive of additional teacher/staff compensation (amounting to roughly 6%) and increased operational costs for the additional 11 days.
    • Federal stimulus funds and state extended learning grants would enable us to fund this calendar for two years. Thereafter, we would need to identify additional operating dollars.

Option B:

  • Essentially the same as Option A, but shifts the first and last days of school one week later:
    • First Day of School for Students: August 22, 2022
    • Last Day of School for Students: June 30, 2023

Option C:

  • Length:
    • 180 Student Days (current calendar has 180 student days) + 14 Intersession Days
    • 202 Teacher Days (current calendar has 191 teacher days) + 14 Intersession Days
  • Start/End Dates:
    • First Day of School for Students: August 15, 2022
    • Last Day of School for Students: June 29, 2023
  • Breaks:
    • Includes 3 one-week intersessions after each quarter
    • Preserves all holidays in our current calendar
    • Restores Winter Break for students to two full weeks
    • Preserves Winter Break and Spring Break alignment to surrounding divisions
  • Teacher Planning:
    • Provides a full Teacher Planning Day after the end of each quarter
    • Provides Teacher Planning Half-Day on last Friday of all other months
  • Culture and Social-Emotional Learning:
    • Begins the year with a Culture & Relationship Building Week focused on social-emotional learning. This work would be continued throughout the year with explicit, sacred time in daily/weekly schedules.
  • Cost:
    • Approximately $8 million per year
    • Federal stimulus funds and state extended learning grants would enable us to fund this calendar for four years if the spend down date on these grants were extended

Additional Information About Intersessions:

What are Intersessions?

Intersessions are one-week breaks after each academic quarter that provide a group of students the opportunity to receive additional academic support and participate in exciting enrichment activities. To keep class sizes very small, we would focus the intersessions on the 5,000 students who: 1) at the K-8 level, need the most academic assistance in literacy (as indicated by the Virginia Growth Assessment and PALs); and 2) at the 9-12 level, need the most support in their core content courses (as indicated by course progress reports and grades). Students not participating in the intersessions would be on break these days.

How would staffing work for the intersessions?

Teaching during intersessions would be entirely voluntary and would come with about $5,000 additional compensation per year. Other staff – custodians, bus drivers, etc. – would also receive additional compensation commensurate with their hourly rate. Teachers and staff not participating in the intersessions would be on break these days (but would not receive additional compensation).

Would the intersessions occur at all school buildings? Would transportation/meals be provided?

To streamline costs, we would likely use a subset of our schools for intersessions – much like we do for summer school. Transportation and meals would be provided to all students participating in the intersessions.

  • Board members would like too see an “Option D” which would keep the current school calendar
  • There will be a survey open for four weeks where people will be able to provide feedback on the proposed calendars

Initial 2022-23 Calendar Drafts for 11-8-21 Board Meeting

There will be four virtual calendar conversations held by the school district:

  • A meeting will be held in Spanish on Sunday, December 5 from 2-3:30 p.m.
  • A meeting for East End families will be held on Tuesday, December 7 from 6-7:30 p.m.
  • A meeting for Northside and West End families will be held on Thursday, December 9 from 6-7:30 p.m.
  • A meeting for Southside families will be held on Monday, December 13 6-7:30 p.m.

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