Extended breaks means NOSD classes will run through June 8 next year
Northern Ozaukee School District officials injected the democratic process in setting the 2016-17 school calendar last week.
Administrators prepared two possible school calendars, and then sought feedback from families and staff members. Both calendars had the state-required number of classroom hours.
According to Supt. Dave Karrels, one calendar was slightly more compact, by limiting the number of days off around holiday breaks.
The other option, which was ultimately approved by the School Board, features a Christmas break that will start Friday, Dec. 23, and extend until Monday, Jan. 2.
Similarly, the spring break will cover the entire week before Easter, which will be on April 16, and the Thanksgiving break will cover the day before and after the holiday.
The first day of classes for students will be Thursday, Sept. 1, and the final day of classes will be Thursday, June 8.
Once the two model calendars had been prepared, Karrels said reactions from parents and staff were tabulated.
He noted that 62% supported the three-day Thanksgiving holiday.
Support for the week-long Easter break was much less decisive, with 48.6% supporting the extended time off and 46.8% backing a shorter break.
When the staff was surveyed about which calendar option they liked best, 74% supported the plan with slightly longer breaks and ending a few days later.
“While no calendar is perfect or can meet everyone’s needs, I believe that we were able to meet the majority of the expectations of the survey respondents,” Karrels said.
“Additionally, we ensure that student learning is placed at the forefront as family activities can be planned in advance to allow students to miss as few school days as possible.”
He said 200 district families offered input on the calendar options.
Board members Rick Hamm and Tom Hoffmann voted against the calendar, with both advocating the option that had an earlier final day of school.