Each year we work to develop a school calendar that balances the needs of families, schools and community members with the educational requirements for our students.
We are scheduled to begin classes prior to Labor Day. Although state law requires most school years to start after Labor Day, there are several exemptions to that law that provide school districts with the flexibility to develop an appropriate local calendar. We have legally started school before Labor Day during the last seven school years.
At the school board meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 9, board members approved the 2015-16 calendar.
We are also planning our calendars for future years through 2018-19. These calendars will align with the academic priorities in the Acceleration 2020 strategic plan.
We plan to engage the community and incorporate that feedback into the proposals that are generated.
Frequently asked questions
Q: How can I be involved in planning future calendars?
A: We will be seeking student, family, staff and community feedback and participation as we develop proposals for future calendars through 2018-19. These calendars will align with the academic priorities in Acceleration 2020. The goal is to develop calendars that support:
Students in rigorous and relevant learning
Teachers in ongoing professional development
A survey will be open to all stakeholders once the calendar planning process begins. The survey will be available online and will also be presented at area meetings and culturally specific meetings, through school councils in all areas, at Connecting Parents to Educational Opportunities (CPEO) courses, at student placement centers and at other family events. In addition, we will seek input from the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers, the MPS Principals Forum, student focus groups and site councils.
Q: Why is MPS starting two weeks before Labor Day?
A: For the 2015-16 school year, we approved the same schedule as the 2014-15 calendar. The first day of school was Aug. 25 in 2014 and will be Aug. 24 in 2015. Labor Day was Sept. 1 in 2014 and will be Sept. 7 in 2015. Therefore, carrying over the calendar intact results in MPS starting school two weeks before Labor Day.
Q: Why do teachers only get four days of paid time before school starts when last year we had six days?
A: The 2015-16 calendar contains six total professional development days for teachers, the same amount as in the 2014-15 school year. Two days were moved from the beginning of the year to the end of the first quarter (Oct. 29) and the end of the second quarter (Jan. 19). This change is an effort to provide more ongoing professional development throughout the year, allowing topics to be more responsive to needs as they arise during the school year.
Q: Why not extend school later into June instead of start early in August?
A: For the 2015-16 school year, we approved the same schedule as the 2014-15 calendar. We will be seeking student, family, staff and community feedback and participation as we develop proposals for possible changes to future calendars through 2018-19.
Q: Was there public comment or input before the vote?
A: Public comment time is provided for all items that appear on the school board agenda.