The Edmond Sun

December 20, 2013

Days off moved in next school calendar

Patty Miller
The Edmond Sun

EDMOND — Edmond Public School District calendars for 2014-15 and 2015-16 were approved by the Edmond Board of Education with some significant changes regarding days off.

The District Calendar Committee met Oct. 22 to review calendar dates. Committee members included teachers, parents, site administration and district-level administration.

“In reviewing or developing a calendar, the committee reviews/identifies parameters around which the calendar will be developed,” said Randy Decker, executive director of human resources.

Decker told board members the committee identified three areas of concern they wanted to address including the Sept. 2 Professional Development Day, Fall Break and April Day.

The Sept. 2 Professional Development Day for teachers was moved to Monday, Sept. 15, meaning students will be out of school that day.

“The Sept. 2 Professional Development Day occurs too early in the school year to allow schools to receive and analyze student achievement data,” Decker said. “This data drives many of the professional development activities that occur on that day.”

Decker said the consensus was that having two four-day weeks in September was better for instruction than a three-day week.

Site and district staff need every day available to prepare reports that will have a direct effect on school funding.

 Fall break occurs in the first part of October when state accreditation and other reports are due.

“The committee chose to move Fall Break from Oct. 8-10 to Oct. 16-20,” Decker said.

“Fall Break could not begin on Wednesday, Oct. 15 due to PSAT testing that week,” Decker said. “So, the break would be on a Thursday-Friday and the following Monday. Parent-teacher conferences will be moved to Oct. 9-14.

 Committee members chose to move the April Day, a name given in the past to the day off between testing times.

“The first option was to set the April Day as Friday, April 29,” Decker said. “As with the 2014-15 calendar, this date falls between OCCT testing and AP testing. This was a concern to the committee since students would only be required to be in school on one day that week and attendance might be an issue with this schedule.”

The second option was to remove the April Day, which would result in the students’ last day of school on Friday, May 20, and the teachers’ final day on Monday, May 23.

April Day has been moved to May 1, a day off for employees and students in the 2014-15 school year. It will be moved back to April 29 for the 2015-16 calendar.

“The original purpose of the April Day was so the students could have a day off between testing,” said School Board President Jamie Underwood. “In the high school, the students would have one day between End of Year Instruction testing and Advanced Placement testing to step back and take a breath.”

Underwood said the state keeps requiring more and more testing and students will have gone six or seven weeks without a break while testing at some level every day.

Decker added it was the conversation of committee members that the teachers need a professional day in the spring sometime after the previous year’s EOII testing scores were received from the state by the school districts.