Palm Beach County School Board members are scheduled to discuss the pros and cons of starting the 2022-2023 school year as soon as state law allows, on August 10, or a few days later, on August 15, on Wednesday. August.
The start date is an annual point of contention, pitting the desire to have a full semester before winter break by starting early versus the desire for summer to end closer to Labor Day, leaving students more time for camps and family trips.
Historically, the school board, with the overwhelming support of the local teachers ‘and principals’ union, has erred on the side of earlier is better.
How it’s made:School Calendar – Thanksgiving, Midterms and Beyond: Why It’s a Battle Every Year
Learn more about the latest debate:School board delays voting on school calendar, seeks to start one week later
The options to present to council come from the district calendar committee, which must navigate a litany of ongoing demands and demands.
The only twist that could not be taken into account was the impending demise of assessments from Florida standards, commonly known as FSA.
For decades, the Calendar Committee has tried to maximize the number of school days before the spring testing season begins. But the state’s Department of Education announced this fall that ASPs will be retiring this spring. Instead, the state will use “progress monitoring assessments”.
“We kind of fly without a card” regarding state testing
The nature and timing of these assessments is uncertain.
“Until that’s rolled out, we’re kind of flying without a card,” said Vicki Evans-Pare, who oversees the scheduling process for the district. “We have to know what this looks like.”
Without this card, the committee fell back on the choices it presented with this year’s calendar more than a year ago. The then-board members started on August 10 this academic year, feeling the need to start closing the gaps often created by distance learning during the pandemic.
The board, however, has kicked in the year ahead.
Although they start and stop on different days, there are several similarities between the two proposals.
Thanksgiving vacation lasts a week; the students leave for the primary elections of August 23 and those of November 8; students do not get Veterans Day, based on previous compromises in election year cycles; and both calendars honor the same national holidays but distribute teacher planning days differently, during which students are not on campus.
The first proposal has a winter break which is one day shorter than the second and a spring break which begins on March 20, a week later than the alternate calendar.
Highlights of the differences between August 10 and 15
First day for students: August 10, 2022, the second Wednesday of the month.
Last day for students: May 26, 2023, giving students 180 days.
The first semester ends after 85 days on December 21, 2022; although the goal is a 90/90 split in half-yearly days, this version is 85/95.
Winter vacation: December 22-January 2; students return on Tuesday January 3, 2023.
Spring Break: March 20-24.
First day for students: August 15, 2022, the third Monday of the month.
Last day for students: June 2, 2023, giving students 179 days.
The first semester ends after 90 days on January 13, 2023 – seven school days after returning from winter vacation. This creates a 90/89 day semester split.
Winter vacation: December 22-January 3. The students return on Wednesday January 4, 2023.
Spring Break: March 13-17.
This year, the county’s public schools had their first start date since 2005. Last year, schools were also due to open on August 10, but the pandemic has pushed that date back to August 31.
In preparing the board’s options for next year, nearly all middle and high school principals in the district have favored an early start allowing for semester exams before winter recess, Evans-Pare said. She said their concerns about the semester dragging past the holidays centered on students living in poverty who might not have the same opportunities to study during the break, putting them at a disadvantage.
The Classroom Teachers Association also wants the semester to end before the holidays, President Justin Katz said. “Even with the demise of the FSA, there are still literally tens of thousands of AICE exams, IB exams, industry certification exams. Maintain and protect so much instruction time before all of these testing is the best way to prepare these children. ”