School calendar will likely keep break


Families will be happy to know that Littleton Public Schools plans to continue letting kids have the full week of Thanksgiving off for the next two years, assuming the district calendar committee’s proposal is approved.

“There is a high value in this community for that week of Thanksgiving,” Clay Abla, director of secondary education and the committee’s facilitator, told the LPS Board of Education Oct. 10.

But the trade-off is that school will start on Fridays both years — Aug. 15, 2014, and Aug. 14, 2015 — instead of students attending the Monday of Thanksgiving week. The committee felt that Friday is a good day to do orientation and getting-to-know-you activities, then kids can have the weekend off before diving into instruction on Monday.

“I can see it working,” said Lucie Stanish, board member. “We’ll have to do some PR, I think.”

It remains to be seen whether there will be 172 or 173 school days, depending on how ongoing contract negotiations with teachers affect furlough days. But first semester will continue to be a few days shorter than second semester, allowing it to end before winter break. School will end for the summer before Memorial Day both years, as well.

The committee also tried to minimize interruptions during testing windows, but the state hasn’t yet defined when they will be. Abla said they made their best guess.

The committee plans no more than one shortened day in a week, with six late-start days in first semester and four in the second. Those are used for “planned learning communities,” a time when teachers gather to collaborate. The idea of having more in the beginning of the year is to give them a running start, said Abla.

“Our parents know our teachers are really engaged throughout the year, and this is not just silly planning time,” said Abla.

The board will vote on whether to accept the committee’s recommendations during its Oct. 24 meeting.


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