I see this happen every year, and for the life of me I cannot figure out why smart people make the same mistake over and over again.
The state has an accountability test that is administered sometime between mid-April and mid-May. The dates of these tests are published at least a year in advance.
The district bemoans how tough the test is and how there just isn’t enough time to teach everything, all while having weeks of school remaining… After the state assessment test.
A smart school leader in charge of the school calendar would do something like this…
Start school as early in August as allowed.
Cut as many singleton teacher inservice days and school holidays from the calendar as possible. I’m looking at you, Columbus Day.
Trim 1 or 2 days from the Thanksgiving holiday.
Trim some days from the Christmas holiday.
The goal is to have as many instructional days as possible prior to the state assessment tests and as few days of school as possible after the state assessment tests.
Sadly, no matter what we tell ourselves, the reality is that school stops when the State Tests are over. So, build the school calendar based on reality.
Think. Work. Achieve.
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