Portland Public Schools Seeks Input on School Calendar
The Portland Public Schools is considering changes to its school calendar beginning in 2013-2014 in order to provide more learning time for students and more time for educators to collaborate on curriculum and instructional improvement.
The district is conducting an online survey to gauge public opinion on possible calendar changes. Students, parents, staff, business owners and other community members are invited to take the survey between October 15 and November 2.
The four-question survey seeks input on a variety of options including the length of the school year, the school starting date, the length and hours of the school day, the number of teacher work days, whether all schools in the district should have a consistent schedule and whether the district should continue releasing students early on Wednesday for teacher professional development. The survey also asks an open-ended question about top priorities in setting the calendar.
The survey results will be compiled and posted online. Focus groups will meet in mid-November to brainstorm ideas and analyze possible schedules. People interested in serving on the focus groups can sign up at the end of the survey. An effort will be made to include a representative group of students, parents, staff, union officials, administrators and day-care and after-school care providers.
A steering committee will review the results of the survey and focus groups and draft recommendations by early December. Those recommendations will be posted online and the public will have opportunity to comment. The steering committee will present its recommendations to the Portland Board of Public Education on January 8, 2013.
To follow work on the school calendar, please visit http://blogs.portlandschools.org/calendarcommittee/