School District Seeks Public Input on Calendar for 2019-20 Academic Year

Image: Carla O'Day.
Image: Carla O’Day.

The Washoe County School District is in the process of establishing its calendar for 2019-20 and is seeking input from students, families, and the community.

The calendar will determine when school begins, when breaks are held, and when classes are dismissed for the year.

“This input is critically important to our district because it impacts so many people in our community—not just our students and their families, but our 8,000-plus teachers and staff members, as well as business owners who depend on summer revenues and student workers,” board president Katy Simon Holland said.

The survey presents four calendar options that consist of school starting the second Monday in August or starting the day after Labor Day. Some calendars have no fall break, while others do. Others have a 2-week spring break, versus a 1-week break. Options for winter vacation include either a 3-week or 2-week break.

Multiple choice questions also ask survey takers for their top priorities.

The Board of Trustees will consider results of this survey when it discusses the calendar at its June 26 meeting.

The district previously surveyed the community and conducted dozens of public meetings in 2011, and the current balanced calendar was adopted in 2012.

A main reason then for moving the start date to early August was so high school students could complete exams prior to winter break, Simon Holland said.

“It was great for them to be off for a few weeks and to go back after break and not have to take finals,” Simon Holland said. “That was one of the drivers in changing the calendar.”

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District officials are revisiting the calendar to get the current pulse of the community, Simon Holland said. There are new people who’ve moved to the area during the past several years, as well as families with young children who’ve recently entered the district.

The board’s decision on the calendar would either be for the foreseeable future or it would go with a 2-year trial and be revisited, Simon Holland said.

An online survey has been posted at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/wscdcalendar, and will close at midnight May 29.

A link is also available on the district’s main web page at www.washoeschools.net.

Carla O'Day
About Carla O'Day 392 Articles
Carla has an undergraduate degree in journalism and more than 10 years experience as a daily newspaper reporter. She grew up in Jacksonville, Fla., moved to the Reno area in 2002 and wrote for the Reno Gazette-Journal for 8 years, covering a variety of topics. Prior to that, she covered local government in Fort Pierce, Fla.