By Chris Marczak
It’s that time of year again: the time to vote for school calendars for the 2015-16 school year. As we move into this time of change, there are two calendars that are being proposed for the Oak Ridge School system.
The two calendars being proposed are called a traditional calendar and a balanced calendar. Both of these proposed calendars have been looked at and discussed by the district’s Curriculum and Instruction team; a district Calendar Committee comprised of teachers and administrators; the Superintendent’s Parent Advisory Board made up of parents from all schools; Bruce Borchers, the superintendent; and myself. Both calendars give staff and parents a choice in the type of calendar they want for the children of Oak Ridge.
The traditional calendar is the calendar that most of the Oak Ridge schools have had for quite a while. Students come to school in the middle of August, have a one week fall break, two weeks off for winter, a one week spring break, dismissal at the beginning of June, and an eleven- to twelve-week summer.
The balanced calendar is a new calendar that Oak Ridge has never had before. It is called a balanced calendar due to the balance that it gives for instructional time in the classroom; about nine weeks at a time. Students typically arrive for school the first week in August, have a two week fall break, two weeks off for winter, two weeks off for spring break, dismissal at the beginning of June, and a seven- to eight-week summer. The balanced calendar is not like the Willow Brook Elementary or Preschool calendar, where students start school in mid-July and have three-week breaks.
Opportunities with having the balanced calendar mean that during the two week fall and spring breaks, schools are able to offer time for students to make up things they missed in instruction, called remediation, or offer opportunities for students to extend their learning, called enrichment. In addition, because of the shortened summer when compared to the traditional calendar, students are able to get back into the classroom quickly to continue their learning.
Parents and Oak Ridge staff will have the opportunity to vote for their choice of calendars for the 2015- 16 school year. On Feb. 10, both groups will receive automated call-out votes. All parents need to communicate with their child’s school to make sure their phone numbers are accurate in our call-out system. The parents will get to vote on Feb. 10 at 6 p.m. The staff will get to vote on Feb. 10 at 7 p.m. The two voting options will be: Press 1 if you would like the balanced calendar for all schools for the 2015-16 school year, or press 2 if you would like the traditional calendar for all schools for the 2015-16 school year.
We are excited to see how both the parents and staff vote for either of the proposed calendars and the direction our district takes, together, moving into the 2015-16 school year!
Chris Marczak is assistant superintendent of Oak Ridge Schools.
See the traditional calendar here: 2015-2016 Traditional CalendarB.
See the balanced calendar here: 2015-2016 Balanced CalendarB.
See a flyer for parents on the calendar options here: Oak Ridge Calendar Options Parent Flyer.