The Carson City School District recently approved the calendar for the 2016-2017 school year, making changes to the dates of spring break and winter break.
The School Board approved the calendar, which included school starting on Aug. 22 and ending June 2, with Carson High graduation predicted for June 3. Students will see changes with the dates of spring break and winter break.
Starting with the 2016-2017 year, spring break will go from March 20 to March 24. The district office was able to chose the dates this year and made the switch in order to better compensate students. At the school board meeting, Susan Keema, Associate Superintendent of Educational Services, said by changing the dates of spring break, it aligns the Carson City School District’s break with Washoe, University of Nevada Reno and Western Nevada College. By aligning these breaks, it helps students in the Jumpstart program actually get a break, Keema said.
“We did this for the alignment,” Keema said. “When you look at spring break now, it is more in the middle of second semester and it algins with Washoe and UNR and more importantly it aligns with WNC’s spring break. Currently our Jumpstart students don’t have a spring break,they may just get a lighter load one week while WNC is out but the high school is in and vice versa.”
Also by changing the schedule for the second semester to align with Washoe’s it helps fix scheduling problems for finals that occurred in recent years. Because the high school sports schedule is based off of Washoe Valley School District, Carson ran into issues with scheduling conflicts for student athletes and the finals schedule. This new schedule will help eliminate that problem in future years.
The members of the school board agreed with Keema this new change would be beneficial to students.
The school district also changed the start of winter break, so it would run from Dec. 23 to Jan. 9. This was done to try to help teachers and students get more of a vacation after the chaos of the holidays.
One Carson City educator, Mark Twain fifth grade teacher Jeremy Falconer, told the school board he believed the schedule benefited just the high school and not the elementary schools. He claimed with the current schedule, when students get out the week before Christmas, they already have students missing school the week prior to the break for vacation.
“With this new calendar I’m afraid we are going to have a lot of students missing class to go to Mexico and other vacations and attendance will be down,” Falconer said.
Keema said no matter what day they start, there’s always students who miss school for vacation.
The school district also extended the number of days for new hire teachers to prepare at the beginning of the year. Previously, the teachers only had two days to prepare for the year, but now they have a week before to prepare. This allows them to have more time to learn the systems and other workings of the district.
The school board unanimously approved the new school calendar from the district.