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2013-14 Instructional Calendar
Q. How is the instructional calendar that is reviewed and approved by the School Board initially developed?
A. Recommendations for the instructional calendar are generated by Perkiomen Valley School District’s Calendar Committee, a group of administrators, teachers, School Board members, and parents that meets several times to draft calendar proposals for the School Board to review and ultimately approve. It is a comprehensive process that involves consideration of a variety of factors, such as how the structure of the calendar affects student academic success, and how parent-teacher conferences, graduation projects, in-service days and holiday breaks should be scheduled to accommodate the needs of families, students and staff. This year, the calendar review process began in November, with the Committee drafting several versions of the calendar for the School Board to consider.
Q. What are some of the changes for the 2013-14 school year?
A. Some of the changes to the calendar include:
· Moving graduation project presentation dates to spring (instead of the week of Thanksgiving)
· Scheduling parent-teacher conferences at the beginning of November, so as to coincide better with the end of the marking period and reduce the number of days off from school the week of Thanksgiving
· Adding a day to the spring break that occurs prior to Easter
Q. Will school start before or after Labor Day this year?
A. The calendar drafts proposed by the School Board initially included both pre- and post-Labor Day starts for the 2013-14 school year. The district had hoped to maintain a pre-Labor Day start in the 2013-14 school year for the same reasons we did it this year -- an earlier start to school ensures that our students are in the classroom for more time prior to high-stakes testing and a majority of our community members prefer an earlier start to the school year so that the school year ends sooner in June. However, the School Board approved a calendar with a post-Labor Day start due to negotiations with the teachers’ union, the Perkiomen Valley Education Association (PVEA).
Q. What do teacher contract negotiations have to do with the instructional calendar?
A. The current teachers’ contract expires on Aug. 31, 2013. If school begins before the contract expires, teachers are entitled by law to be compensated for step movement on the salary schedule -- an increase that would cost the district approximately $750,000. Starting the school year prior to the expiration of the teachers’ contract would commit the district to paying this increase, regardless of the outcome of negotiations. Before making this commitment, the School Board would like to see where negotiations might lead.
2012-13 Instructional Calendar
(revised version reflecting new last day of school)
Dr. Barbara Russell, Assistant Superintendent