Balanced Calendar - Triton School Corporation

Area Schools Look at the Model
John Glenn
North Judson
Oregon Davis
A Balanced
Calendar is NOT
the same as a Year
Round Calendar…
“Recent education reports suggest that
policymakers and educators must consider
changing learning time policies and
programs. Indeed, it may be time to
seriously evaluate more current and viable
alternatives to traditional school calendars,
leaving nothing off the table to improve the
achievement of an increasingly diverse
student population.”
~ Silva Report (2007)
 What is a Balanced Calendar?
 Why Consider a Balanced Calendar?
 Indiana Survey of Balanced Calendar
 Maconaquah School Survey
 Things to Consider
 Secondary Gains
 Challenges
 Questions
Account of Current Calendar System:
When formal schooling was first established, the school
calendar fit the needs of a particular community. When
families became more mobile, the school calendar was
standardized. The current 9-month calendar that most
schools operate on was established when 85% of
Americans (and students) were involved in agriculture, and
when climate control did not exist in school buildings. In
today's United States, only about 3% of Americans are
engaged in agriculture. Also, most schools have air
conditioning, making it possible for students to be there in
the hotter months.
“Considering the history of America’s
traditional public school calendar,
the needs of students have certainly
changed since the late 19th and
early 20th centuries, yet the
educational system continues to rely
on a schedule whose roots can be
traced back to about 150 years ago.”
Education Policy Brief: [2009]
What is a balanced calendar?
• Not a year-round calendar
• Still 180 days
• Have 8 weeks off in the summer
• Starts in August and ends in early
• Has intercessions (breaks for
remediation and vacation)
A Balanced Calendar gets its
name because the “breaks”
away from school are more
“balanced” and evenly
distributed throughout the
school year.
Why consider a balanced calendar?
• Most research shows a correlation [albeit slight] between the
Balanced Calendar and improved test scores.
• All studies show a dramatic increase in attendance attributed
to families having more opportunities to plan vacations during
breaks and students having a better resistance to illnesses.
• Additional studies also show a dramatic decrease in discipline
referrals for reasons unbeknownst.
• Finally, research studies revealed that the drop-off in student
retention over long summer breaks averaged a loss of 2.6
months of grade-level equivalency in Math, and 2.0 in
Reading, when students follow Traditional calendars—in
comparison to 1.0 and .8 months, respectively, within
Balanced models.
Why a Balanced Calendar?
• Increased Rigor of the curriculum…higher learning
expectations of all students
• Time for remediation throughout the year…not just in the
• Ongoing credit recovery opportunities for high school students
• No longer mainly an agrarian culture
• Less learning lost over long summer break
• Family vacation time throughout year (each season)
• Students will have more time to re-charge (which may be
increasingly important with increased rigor/expectations).
• Seeing successful results in Central Indiana and other areas
using this calendar
Indiana Survey on School
Calendars (2012)
• 11,175 people responded to the survey
• 90% felt local school boards should
decide their school calendar…not the
• 81% wanted built in snow days. As
opposed to adding missed days on at the
end of the year.
• 57% wanted a traditional calendar and
42% wanted a balanced calendar.
Start and End Dates for
the Year
More Survey Results
180 School Days per Year is a requirement in Indiana
Raw Numbers for Answers to Start and End Date
Start Mid-August and End before Memorial Day
Start Week of Aug.20 and End Week of Memorial Day
Start last week of Aug. and End 1st Week of June
Start After Labor Day and End Mid-June
Skipped Question
Maconaquah Balanced Calendar Survey
836 Responses
Question 1: I am a student, Staff Member, or Parent
66% Students
27% Staff Members
8% Parents
Question 2: I like the balanced calendar that was in place for the 2011-2012
school year in the Maconaquah School Corporation.
Strongly Agree
Strongly Disagree
Question 3: I like having a two-week fall and spring break which is called
Strongly Agree
Strongly Disagree
Survey Results Continued
Question 4: I (or my child) learn better due to having additional remediation sessions
throughout the year.
40% Strongly Agree
30% Agree
18% Disagree
11% Strongly Disagree
Question 5: An 8-week summer break is enough vacation for me
26% Strongly Agree
34% Agree
12% Disagree
27% Strongly Disagree
Question 6: Athletics are harmed by a balanced calendar.
7% Strongly Agree
28% Agree
40% Disagree
23% Strongly Disagree
Survey Results (final)
• Question 7: I have experienced childcare issues as a result of the
balanced calendar.
11% Strongly Agree
12 % Agree
24% Disagree
52% Strongly Disagree
• Question 8: I have found more advantages for my family (vacations,
family time, etc.) since our students are on a balanced calendar.
53% Strongly Agree
24% Agree
16% Disagree
8% Strongly Disagree
• Question 9: The Maconaquah Schools should consider returning to a
traditional calendar.
16% Strongly Agree
17% Agree
21% Disagree
50% Strongly Disagree
Maconaquah and Rochester
• Maconaquah is now using the
balanced calendar for the third
consecutive year (2013-2014)
• Rochester is now using the
balanced calendar for the 7th year.
Things to Consider…
• Most School Improvement Plan Goals
• Increase Student Achievement
• Improve Staff/Student Attendance
• Improve Graduation Rate
The balanced calendar addresses all of these
Consider… Costs
• Transportation
• Intercessions replace summer school for
• May add trips for enrichment during
• Salaries
• Salaries-May need to break salaries into 25
pays since we start earlier
• Would use summer school/remediation
funds to cover intercession salaries??
• Results from districts already using a
balanced calendar:
• Reduced failure rates
• Increased graduation rates
• Fewer discipline referrals
• Higher staff and student attendance
• Teachers and students report higher
Secondary Gains…
• Informal thoughts…
• Opportunities for family vacations all four seasons
• Remediate as the year goes and students start to fall behind…not
just in the summer
• Some students are motivated to try harder so they get the extra time
off and don’t have to go to remediation
• Increased opportunities for enrichment/ field trips
• Extra time for teachers to adjust and reflect on teaching progress and
• Intercession is a time to make-up attendance or work with students
who are seriously behind…especially for at-risk seniors
• Spring athletes get a spring break
• Could be a time for professional development for teachers
Challenges/Issues to be Addressed
Surprise…People do not like change!
Some families have to change day care schedules
Need to require attendance at intercessions??
Conflict with special education and vocational classes if all
schools not on the same calendar
• Impact on athletics- 2 a day practices at the beginning of the
• Early summer/late summer conflicts (like AAU, state fair,
military, camps, teacher conferences)
• Summer jobs for students and staff?
• Transportation during intercessions?

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