As warmer weather approaches, many parents, students, and community members are making plans for the coming months ahead and looking for the 2018-19 School Calendar to assist them in their planning efforts. Several factors play a role in determining the calendar including state requirements, a county-wide common calendar, community needs, and professional development obligations. The Administration and the Dearborn Federation of Teachers spend many hours working together on the meticulous details that need to be considered before a final calendar is approved.
The 2018-19 calendar offered several new challenges as this is the first year the District had to adhere to the state law requiring 180 days of instruction. This change added five school days to the 2018-19 school year. The district was able to maintain a calendar with less than 180 days for several years because previous calendars had been finalized before the law went into effect. Another state law requires schools to start after Labor Day, however, in recent years, districts have been able to petition the state and ask for a waiver in order to move the first day before the Labor Day break.
A county wide common calendar sets the dates for Winter break, Spring Break, Good Friday, and Presidents Day. The school calendar must also reflect the needs of the local community and include time off when attendance will be under the 75% mark such as during the Eid Holiday. Other school districts in the area take these same types of conditions into consideration when setting their calendars. Also, since many older schools do not have air conditioning ending the school year by at least the second week of June is essential.
Looking ahead to the new academic year, the biggest change to the 2018-19 school calendar is the return of the first day of school occurring before Labor Day. The school year for students will start on Monday, August 27. Students will attend for a half-day and then will have full days through Thursday. Everyone will enjoy a long Labor Day weekend with no school on the Friday before Labor Day, as required by law, and then return to school on the Tuesday after Labor Day.
The other noticeable change for this upcoming school year is the shortened February break. This needed to be done in order to set an end date before the third week of June. Given all the components to consider, it is likely some years will support a full week off in February while others will require a reduced mid-winter break such as the 2018-19 calendar in which mid-winter break is only two days plus one weekend.
The 2018-19 district calendar once again includes late start dates that will be used for professional development and school improvement. The late starts dates have been extremely helpful in providing teachers and principals with time to meet, collaborate with colleagues, work on school improvement goals, and improve student instruction. The first of the seven late start dates will occur on Wednesday, September 19, and will continue on various Wednesdays throughout the year.
The 2018-19 calendar will be posted on the district’s website and can be accessed by visiting
https://dearbornschools.org/district/district-calendars. Visitors can download a PDF version or view an on-line calendar. Parents are reminded to check with their child’s school for important events and activities taking place unique to their school and not appearing on the district calendar.