Q1. What are "intersessions?"
A. Intersessions are blocks of times that can be used by students, teachers, and families for a variety of reasons including (but not limited to):
- For students, intersessions could be used for: applied learning, re-teaching, intervention, individualized enrichment opportunities, collaborative opportunities with experts, reflection, and much more!
- For teachers, intersessions could be used for: analysis of student data, customization of individual student learning plans, creation of partnerships (with colleagues, community, etc.), collaboration and preparation (for Common Core State Standards, NextGen Science, SBAC, etc.), and much more!
- For families, intersessions could be used for: expanding their child's interests and talents, having multiple remediation/tutoring sessions, minimizing "summer boredom," broadening opportunities for family time, balancing school/family life, and much more!
Q2. Is this calendar finalized?
A. No, this calendar is not finalized. Rather, Calendar 2.0 is a proposal, meant to intentionally engage educators, students and families around how to further the quality of education in our region. Superintendents hope to further these conversations during the October forums.
Q3. How can I provide input about this calendar?
A. There are many ways to be a part of the conversation about quality education! Leave a comment on our Readers' Corner, send an email, or join the Superintendents at one (or more) of the October forums.
Q4. How will the decision be made on whether or not this calendar is final?
A. CVSA, by law, is required to create and approve a regional calendar with 175 common student days and five common teacher days. This is the group that will ultimately determine the 2014-2015 regional school calendar. A 2014-2015 regional calendar will be finalized by early Spring, 2014. Local determinations later round out any additional student and/or teacher work days beyond the minimum days. Click here to read more about the VT State Statute and how it relates to school calendars.
Q5. How is Calendar 2.0 different that the current structure?
A. Both calendars are very similar. They maintain the required 175 common student days throughout the region. However, you'll note"non-student" periods that had previously been partial weeks have been extended to full weeks to allow for intersession possibilities. One week blocks of time were also added to currently existing vacation periods to allow for intersession possibilities. The graphic below shows the 2013-2014 approved regional calendar in comparison to the proposed Calendar 2.0 for the 204-2015 school year. (Click here for a printable pdf)
Q6. Where did these "intersession" days come from?
A. Beginning the school year (for students) five days earlier, and ending the school year (for students) five days later allowed for whole weeks of instruction, intersession possibilities, and vacation time to be constructed.
Q7. Will this proposal cost money?
A. This proposed calendar strives to be cost-neutral to tax-payers (as the same 175 required student days are preserved). It may be possible for school districts to implement the proposed calendar without increasing school budgets. From recapturing money saved from needing substitutes (if teachers utilize intersessions for professional development, then those teachers would not have to call on substitutes during the school year), to exploring grant opportunities, to exploring how resources regionally could better be utilized - the regional superintendents are exploring a variety of options.
Q8. What about AP testing? The dates are set nationally and cannot be moved.
A. AP testing is important for many students, and something that must be taken under consideration. The intersessions may provide a unique opportunity for student to have dedicated time, without juggling their school day schedules, to take these exams. Schools, as they do now, will continue to try to accommodate a testing environment for this purpose.
Q9. How does teacher professional development fit into the proposed calendar?
A. The proposed calendar provides an opportunity to provide both job-embedded professional development at regular intervals during the school year and keep teachers in the classroom where they can have the most impact on learning. It is important to note the proposed calendar only reflects common 175 student days - local (and additional) teacher (and student) days will need to be built in.
This is different than the current calendar configuration, where teachers are either taken out of the classroom for job-embedded professional development (and in some cases, schools have created early release days for professional development), or professional development is provided during the summer.
Q10. How will EEE programs be impacted?
A. The proposed calendar was created through the lens of children. As such, those in EEE programs would continue to receive necessary services. Any student eligible for services will still receive those services.
Q11. How many weeks of summer vacation are included in the proposed calendar?
A. The proposed calendar includes eight weeks of summer vacation (the current calendar has 10 weeks).