Creation of Instructional School Year Calendar
For purposes of this procedural directive, “alternative calendar” means any individual school calendar, which varies from the district calendar on more than five (5) days.
The instructional school year calendar shall consider and comply with, but shall not be limited to, the following items:
- District instructional goals
- School days
- Teacher and principal preparation
- Professional development days
- State laws and regulations
- Board of Education policies
- Administrative procedural directives
- Negotiated agreements between Albuquerque Public Schools and its employee groups
Instructional School Year Calendar Committee
The assistant superintendent of Human Resources shall annually convene an Instructional School Year Calendar Committee. The committee shall include, but not limited to:
- Parents of students currently enrolled in Albuquerque Public Schools
- Community partners
- School and district administrators
- A representative from the Payroll Department
- A union representative
The assistant superintendent of Human Resources may establish a steering committee which would meet prior to the full Instructional School Year Calendar Committee. The steering committee may discuss considerations that they feel should be incorporated in the recommendations of instructional school year calendar. The steering committee may also take direction from the superintendent and Board of Education prior to meeting with the full committee to guide the work of the committee.
Instructional School Year Calendar Creation and Approval
The committee shall review, develop and recommend two instructional school year calendars for the upcoming school year. The recommended instructional school year calendars shall have an academic focus so students and teachers are in school for uninterrupted periods of instructional time.
The committee shall present its recommendations to the superintendent for review, amendment and approval no later than October 1 of every year. After approval from the superintendent, district staff, families and community partners shall have an opportunity to indicate their preferred instructional school year calendar in an online poll.
The superintendent, or his/her designee, shall present the two recommended instructional school year calendars and the results of the poll to the Board of Education for review, amendment and approval no later than October 31 of every year.
Requirements and Considerations
One Hundred Eighty Three (183) Total Days
The instructional school year calendar shall have a minimum of 183 days. These days shall be divided among instructional days, teacher preparation days and professional development days.
In compliance with state law and regulations, the instructional school year calendar shall comply with the minimum number of hours as outlined below.
- Full day kindergarten - 6th grade
- Five and one-half (5 ½) hours per day or nine hundred ninety (990) hours per year
- Grades 7 - 12
- Six (6) hours per day or one thousand eighty (1080) hours per year
Holidays and Breaks
The committee may consider holidays and breaks historically scheduled by the district as non-instructional days when developing the instructional school year calendar. They include:
- Labor Day
- Fall break
- Thanksgiving Day and the Friday immediately following (also known as Thanksgiving Break)
- Veterans Day (when it falls on a week day)
- Election Day
- Winter Break (ten days total)
- Christmas Eve and Christmas Day
- New Year’s Day
- Martin Luther King Day
- Presidents’ Day
- Spring Break (five days total)
- Vernal Holiday
The committee may consider the following when developing the instructional school year calendar:
- Current employees ought not have a break in pay periods.
- Current employees shall work four (4) days in order to get a full pay check.
- Fall Break may coincide with the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.
- The day before Thanksgiving Day may be a non-school day.
- First instructional semester and Winter Break.
- Second instructional semester and Memorial Day.
- Snow days and make-up day requirements
- Winter Break may include three (3) weekends.
- High School Graduation.
Alternative Calendars Development, Adoption and Approval
Schools may adopt a new calendar which may vary significantly from the district’s instructional school year calendar. All alternative calendars shall comply with state law and regulations. All alternative calendars shall comply with the general provisions outlined in this procedural directive for instructional school year calendars. Schools choosing to adopt an alternative calendar shall comply with the process outlined below.
Timeline and Process for Adoption of New Alternative Calendar
The school shall hold preliminary discussions with staff, parents and the community regarding alternative calendar possibilities.
No later than September 15, the school shall notify the appropriate associate superintendent in writing of its intent to continue to investigate the feasibility of adopting an alternative calendar.
The school shall research and explore various calendar alternatives and shall develop feasibility studies exploring the rationales, advantages and disadvantages and issues related to the adoption of alternative calendars.
The school shall hold discussions of feasibility studies with staff, parents and the community. The school’s Instructional Council, with appropriate input from staff, parents and the community, shall determine whether to pursue an alternative calendar.
The school’s Instructional Council also shall notify the parents and community of its intent to explore the feasibility of an alternative calendar. The notification to the associate superintendent and parents and community shall include a process, created by the Instructional Council, which the school will undergo when making decisions about the alternative calendar. That process shall include:
- Who will be involved and in what roles?
- What are the timelines?
- How will the school communicate with staff, parents and community?
- What are the standards/criteria to be used in decision making?
- What issues need to be addressed?
The appropriate associate superintendent shall review, amend and approve or deny the site-based process. The associate superintendent shall discuss financial and transportation implications of the alternative calendar with the Chief Financial Officer and the Chief Operations Officer, or their designees.
Upon approval of the process, the school’s Instructional Council shall identify and publicize the process the school will follow for establishment of an alternative calendar. The school shall hold meetings to provide information, advantages and disadvantages to calendar alternatives. The results of meetings shall be compiled by the school’s Instructional Council and shared with parents and the community.
A community referendum shall be held on proposed alternative calendars. Each family with a child enrolled in the school shall be entitled to one vote per family. Each certified and classified staff member shall be entitled to one vote. Votes of families and staff shall be tallied separately. Both tallies shall have a majority in favor of an alternative calendar for the proposed calendar to be adopted.
The school’s Instructional Council shall compile, review, and publicize referendum results. The Instructional Council shall develop and submit an alternative calendar recommendation, all documentation regarding the referendum and how the school complied with their process to the appropriate associate superintendent.
No later than the second week of January, the appropriate associate superintendent shall review the alternative calendar recommendation in light of the process and criteria.
No later than the third week of January, the school’s alternative calendar recommendation shall be to the superintendent and his/her designees for review, amendment and approval or disapproval. Recommendations for alternative calendars shall be evaluated according to the following criteria:
- Instructional viability. The proposal shall have an anticipated or demonstrated positive or neutral effect on the instructional program. Evidence of and support for instructional viability shall be included in the recommendation.
- Degree of community and staff support as demonstrated by representative surveys or ballots.
- Cost effectiveness as evidenced by an analysis of costs and benefits.
- Avoidance of excessive negative impact on the school’s capacity and/or facilities.
- The extent to which the plan minimizes lifestyle inconveniences or maximizes benefits for community and staff.
Upon approval from the superintendent, the recommendation shall be submitted by the Board of Education for review, amendment and approval or disapproval.
Upon Board of Education approval, the school shall plan for implementation of the alternative calendar.
Timeline and Process for Continuing or Discontinuing a Current Alternative Calendar
In September, each school currently on an alternative calendar or with the desire to move to an alternative calendar shall declare an intention to seek staff and community support for continuing, discontinuing, or modifying its alternative calendar. If the school has previously made an authorized multi-year decision, the school shall declare its intent to continue its current calendar.
At a Board of Education meeting in September of each school year, the superintendent, or his/her designee, shall present to the board of Education a list of schools on an alternative calendar. The Board of Education shall authorize or deny authorization to continue the process outlined below. If authorization is denied, the school shall plan to adopt the district calendar one year hence. The Board of Education may direct the school to modify its proposal as a condition of approval.
If authorized to proceed, the school shall survey parents and staff every September in even-numbered years to determine parent interest in continuing, discontinuing, or modifying the school calendar for the following two years. The survey shall be developed by the Research, Development, and Accountability Department and shall be made available to each family with a letter of explanation. Results of the survey shall be compiled and analyzed by the Instructional Council.
In October of a survey year, the Instructional Council shall use the survey results and analysis to develop a proposed calendar. The plan shall be presented to the appropriate associate superintendent for approval by October 31.
Results of the survey and the proposed calendar shall be communicated to the parent community during November.
Parents and staff members shall vote on proposed alternatives every other December in even numbered years. Each family with a child enrolled in the school shall be entitled to one vote per family. Each certified and classified staff member shall be entitled to one vote. Votes of families and staff shall be tallied separately. Both tallies shall have a majority in favor of an alternative calendar for the proposed calendar to be adopted.
The Instructional Council shall compile, review, and publicize referendum results.
The Instructional Council shall develop and submit the results of the vote and a calendar recommendation to the appropriate associate superintendent in December.
The appropriate associate superintendent shall review the recommendation in light of the process and criteria.
The appropriate associate superintendent shall submit a recommendation to the superintendent for final approval in January.
The Superintendent shall review the recommendations of the appropriate associate superintendent to assure that the authorized process has been followed and conditions imposed by the Board of Education have been met. After each plan has been approved by the superintendent, the calendar plans of all schools participating in the process shall be reported to the Board of Education
- Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources/Associate
- Superintendent for Elementary/Associate Superintendent for Secondary
- School Principal
Legal Cross Ref.:
Board Policy Cross Ref.:
Approved: October 1995
Revised: November 17, 1998
Revised: February 23, 2000
Reviewed: August 10, 2012
Revised: January 2013