The Champlain Valley Superintendents Association (CVSA) has scheduled four regional forums to collaboratively discuss the proposed Calendar 2.0 with area residents, families, students and educators. The Superintendents in CVSA want to engage families and educators in brainstorming ideas for a school calendar that supports and maximizes learning of all students.
Superintendents are exploring options around how to create a more efficient and effective use of the school calendar, with time and support as the variables to positive student outcomes. This calendar is a proposal intended to stimulate conversation.
The calendar proposed by CVSA preserves the current 175 student days, while shifting about 10 days into summer in order to build in blocks of times, or intersessions, during the school year. The goal of the proposed calendar is to organize student instruction time so students have opportunities to pause and reflect and expand upon their learning. These intersessions are designed to be used in a variety of ways, including: student enrichment opportunities, chances to provide timely intervention for students who need it, in-depth and project-based learning, opportunities for teacher professional development, opportunities for teachers to review student data during non-instructional times, and opportunities for families to schedule routine appointments or take vacations without interrupting learning blocks of time.
The current century-old calendar offers limited flexibility in how time is paced throughout the school year. As a result, opportunities for additional learning time for students only occur during the summer months, which is often not timely for students. In addition, teacher professional development days are either front-loaded at the beginning or end of the year, with early release days structured throughout the year, and teachers leaving the classroom for professional development opportunities. Intersessions could also provide time for students to participate in relevant learning activities, such as internships, foreign language trips, job shadowing, etc. without being out of the classroom.
“While earlier information indicated a 2014-2015 timeline, implementation of a new calendar is flexible and this proposal is a starter intended to stimulate conversation,” CVSA Co-Chair Judith DeNova said. “Superintendents recognize change is hard and wish to engage the community in this change process.”
The forums are designed to provide an opportunity for families and educators to connect directly about how time could be used to further the quality of education in this region of Vermont.
The forums are open to parents, educators, students and interested residents. Please join the Superintendents, and be prepared to have a creative conversation as to how time can better be used to support student learning:
- Wednesday, October 2, 6:30 p.m. - Essex High School
- Thursday, October 3, 6:30 p.m. - BFA St. Albans
- Wednesday, October 9, 6:30 p.m. - Burlington High School
- Thursday, October 10, 6:30 p.m. - Champlain Valley Union High School
The forums will be facilitated, and have been created in a format to ensure all participants have a voice in the conversation to talk about ways to improve upon the current calendar structure. The evenings will be broken up into four parts: a general introduction/background, an activity for participants to provide their opinions to specific questions related to the proposed Calendar 2.0, an activity for participants to have conversations about how a calendar could be created, and a closing. Ideas and suggestions will be compiled and made public after the forums, and will be used by Superintendents to inform future calendar decisions.