Forming a Committee to Study and/or Implement Year-Round Education

January 1999 – Reaffirmed April 2010 – Education

The California State PTA acknowledges the concern parents have when school districts find it necessary to change from the traditional September-to-June school year. Whether the decision is for educational reasons or due to severe overcrowding of available facilities, parent and community concerns should be addressed through the work of a study committee appointed by the local school governing board. PTAs in the affected schools should take the lead in ensuring that a representative study committee is appointed and that the study agenda includes the potential impact on the total community. If the decision is to change to a year-round calendar, the implementation task force should structure the agenda to answer all concerns expressed by students, parents and the broader community.

I.  The Study Committee should include representatives from:

  • PTA(s) and all other groups with parent members.
  • Students.
  • Administrative, certificated and classified staff.
  • Youth serving agencies.
  • Public service agencies.
  • Religious groups because of their religious instruction programs, summer camps and daily recreation programs.
  • Faith-based groups that offer youth programs.
  • Business community and youth employment agencies.
  • Child care providers.

II.  The study committee agenda should include, but not be limited to, the following general topics:

  • A thorough understanding of the proposed year-round plan, whether it is a single- or multi-track plan and what configuration of days on/days off is being considered, the benefits and drawbacks to changing from the traditional calendar, the need for a common calendar K-12, etc.
  • Visitations and interviews with current year-round participants.
  • The district plan for providing all necessary student services, such as activities with other schools not on a year-round calendar, the opportunity for students to participate in extra-curricular and co-curricular activities in a multi-track system, counseling and other student support services, particularly when multiple tracks are involved, student access to both remedial and enrichment programs and, at the high school level, access to advanced placement programs (AP), timely planning and applications for college entrance and other career options.
  • The district plan for providing services to the school such as emergency repair and regular maintenance, consideration of possible air-conditioning needs, what the plans are for facility utilization in using a multi-track system, phase-in of schools if several schools or school levels are involved, and involvement in regular districtwide events and activities.
  • Plans for coordinating the various community services that support families such as before- and after-school child care and preschool child care, the need for youth-serving agencies to adapt their programs to serve students with varying schedules, coordination with public and private agencies and religious groups that provide religious instruction programs, summer camps and recreation programs and the ability of students to obtain needed employment whenever their vacation schedules permit.

Throughout this discussion the quality of the instructional program and availability of the total curriculum to all students in the district must be uppermost in the minds of everyone involved. (PTA strongly recommends a public hearing process as part of the study to ensure that all constituencies in the community are given an opportunity to voice their concerns.) The assurance that qualified teachers and staff will be provided for all students regardless of calendar decisions and that all in-service/staff development activities undertaken by the district will be provided for staff at all the affected schools are considerations of prime importance.

III.  The decision to adopt a single- or multi-track calendar should provide an implementation task force and plan that includes the following:

  • Recommendations that address the issues identified by the committee in its deliberations, with substantive rationale to support the recommendations.
  • Ways to inform everyone who will be affected by the new calendar and methods to resolve resistance to the decision.
  • A commitment for continued involvement of the school community as the plan is implemented and necessary changes are made; and a method for ongoing evaluation of student success.

Resources

“Year-Round Education” California State Department of Education
1430 N Street, Sacramento, CA 95814; www.cde.ca.gov/ls/fa/yr/guide.asp

National Association for Year-Round Education
6401 Linda Vista Road, San Diego, CA 92111
619.292.3679, Fax 619.571.5754; Email info@NAYRE.org; www.nayre.org

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