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Posted November 14, 2011

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Board Members Send 2012-13 Calendar Back to Committee

After taking no action on two proposed calendars last week, APS board members sent the 2012-13 school calendar back to be reworked by an expanded committee made up of more parents and students as well as community representatives, principals, union representatives and administrators.

Board members felt that the Aug. 13 start date proposed by the original calendar committee was too early. A second proposal submitted by the superintendent started a week later, on Aug. 20, but shortened winter break and cut fall break and Presidents Day.

Both proposed calendars included several four-day school weeks, which concerned some board members.

The board sent the calendar back to the committee and asked that more parents and students be involved in the process. The board also invited public input, asking that suggestions and concerns be emailed to boarded@aps.edu

The expanded committee will meet later this month with a goal of submitting a revised calendar to the board’s policy committee in December.

The committee has to consider many issues when developing the school year calendar including required instructional time for students, union contracts, payroll requirements, federal holidays, testing dates, make-up days, community partnerships and tradition.

For example, the APS school year traditionally has ended before Memorial Day, though weather make-up days have been included after the late-May holiday. Including make-up days during the school year could result in more four-day school weeks.

Another tradition is a two-week winter break, though that would mean students wouldn’t return to class until the second week of January in 2013.

The first day of school for the past few years has been in mid-August, though some board members expressed concerns that the early start date results in increased cooling costs and air conditioning problems for schools.

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