By Anna Skinner
Some schools in Indiana are switching to a balanced calendar, which means a shortened summer with longer breaks throughout the year. Westfield Washington Schools has changed their 2015-2016 calendar, but will remain a traditional calendar instead of a balanced calendar.
Fall break was adjusted slightly based on the calendar survey given out to parents and teachers.
“We do calendar surveys every two years to see what type of calendar our parents and teachers might want. We have moved (the start and end dates) about a week each way over the years, and where we are now seems to work best for the majority,” Supt. Mark Keen said.
Based on these calendar surveys, Keen said a balanced calendar does not get much support, although there have been some questions raised as other districts make the switch.
Keen said that because of this year’s survey, fall break will be extended from two days to a full week. The change will cause some minor adjustment in the scheduling.
While some parents wanted two weeks at fall break and spring break, the schedule of a balanced calendar, Keen said this would cause more issues.
“Since parents have to provide child care for two days anyway, going to a week didn’t seem that disruptive,” he said. “However, two weeks at both places would cause child care issues, so that is one reason we stayed with a week. We also could not make a case educationally for any more than a week. Two weeks does not shorten summer break enough to prevent summer learning loss, so we still would be addressing that issue.”
Some families do not go on vacation over fall break, so Keen said this change will not necessarily benefit everyone.
The majority of the surveys pushed support toward a full week of fall break, which will be implemented this school year.