School calendar for 2019-20 previewed, fall break date changes

Posted February 6, 2019 at 9:38 am

The start of the next” school year is still six months away, but school officials, including Director of Pupil Personnel Julie York, wants to make students and parents aware early that there will be one significant change to the 2019-20 year calendar.

The change will see the annual fall break, which for many years has been held the full week leading up to the Foothills Festival, set back by one week to basically correspond with surrounding school districts.

The school calendar from year to year is compiled by a committee that makes recommendations to the school superintendent and eventually the board of education for approval.

The committee is made up of school personnel and community members.

That committee, after polling school district staff and personnel, as well as parents by various means, including through the school district’s webpage, recommended moving the break in October back by one week, or the week prior to the Foothills Festival weekend.

York said that poll numbers from people who responded revealed that among parents, the change was about split fifty-fifty, but about 70 percent of school staff were in favor of making the change.

She noted there was a lot of consideration that went into the move prior to deciding to present the calendar to the school board for its approval.

Some of the reasons most committee members had for making the change was that some people plan yearly vacations around the break in October and wind up missing the festival altogether.

Another reason is that most school districts in the region take an earlier fall break, including Cumberland County.

York said over the past couple of years, Area Tech students from Cumberland County (who took their break a week earlier) missed out on a week of instruction since those students attend the Clinton County Area Technology, which was closed due to the fall break schedule here.

“We decided to match our fall break week to correspond with Cumberland County so those vocational school students would not miss a week of instruction,” she added.

York also said that in past years, a couple of days prior to the fall break had lower attendance, probably because some people opted to take vacations prior to the break actually beginning.

York said that about 200 parents of students in the district actually took the poll about the fall break proposed change, which she described as a good number of respondents.

She also added that the district would try the change for a couple of years and if it did not work out, they could always change the calendar back in years ahead.

Fall break during the next school year will be held Monday through Friday, October 7-11. However, students will still be able to attend the festival activities, as classes will be dismissed on Friday, October 18, the first full day of the Foothills Festival in 2019.

Other than the change in the fall break week, next year’s calendar will be a mirror of past years, with the usual holiday breaks, professional days and work days built in.

The official opening day of school will be Wednesday, August 7, 2019 and the closing day, barring no days having to be added, being Friday, May 15, 2020.

There is 170 instructional days in the calendar, once again, 15 make-up days added in, with four professional days, four official holidays and six work days for staff only.