published January 16, 2018
1. Why can’t we build make-up days into the calendar?
We do typically have one or two built-in days, however, we are required to have make-up days in our calendar equalling the maximum number of missed days in a single year over the past 5 years (currently 12). If we have the majority of those days built into the calendar and end up with a year with no snow days, it pushes the last day out further unnecessarily. Placing the majority of snow make-up days at the end of the calendar makes the most sense.
2. Why can’t teacher work days be used as make-up days?
If the board decided to amend the calendar, that would be an option. But then we lose the intended value of enhanced PLC (Professional Learning Community) work and embedded professional learning that these days provide.
3. Why can’t we start earlier in August to ensure we don’t go into June?
Traditionally, OCS begins the second Wednesday in August. This is sometimes pushed back a week to accommodate school renovation projects that can only be done during summer break.
4. Why don’t we do away with or shorten fall break, or shorten other breaks and get out earlier in the year?
Fall break has become somewhat of an institutional practice. Many families enjoy the time off during off-peak travel times. Shortening or doing away with fall break would need to be a recommendation from the calendar committee and then passed by the board. Fall break has already been set for the 2019/20 school year, so the soonest that could change would be for the 2020/21 school year. A survey of parents last year showed that the majority wanted to keep fall break a full week.
5. Who is responsible for setting the school calendar?
There is a calendar committee that meets regularly to come up with a recommendation on the school calendar. The committee, per KRS, must be comprised of a school principal, a member of district administration, a school board member, two parents, an elementary teacher, a middle school teacher, a high school teacher, two classified staff, and two community members from the chamber of commerce or tourism board. The committee makes a recommendation on the calendar to the school board. The calendar is approved in March for the upcoming school year. However, major breaks (fall, winter and spring breaks) are set a year and a half in advance, so parents can plan vacations. For example, this March, the board will approve major breaks for the 2020/21 school year.
6. If I want to make suggestions to the school calendar, who do I contact?
You can contact your school board representative. Their contact information can be found on our website. We will also be working to survey parents regarding the school calendar.
7. Why can't we have NTI days like some other school districts?
We have many conversations about nontraditional instruction days, where students would work from home, and we continue to explore those options. Our major concern with NTI days is we have students who struggle with the supports we provide them even during a normal school day. If we implement a NTI plan, we are expecting them to do the work with reduced or zero supports. If the work is easy enough for them to complete without the supports needed, what is the value of the work? We are firm believers that every single day we are teaching students, they should be learning to the highest level of their ability. We have not found an NTI program to date that can provide a learning experience that is equal to the day that is missed in school. Again, this is not off the table, and we continue to look for ways to make NTIs a valuable learning experience.