Roaring Fork Schools’ 2020-21 calendar plan includes earlier start to summer break
Assuming things proceed as normal for next school year after the disruptions this spring due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Roaring Fork Schools are looking to an earlier start to summer break.
After taking surveys from staff, parents, students and other community members, the Roaring Fork District school board recently adopted the calendar for 2020-21.
Survey data collected from more 2,000 respondents informed the district’s calendar committee, which presented its recommendations to the school board on March 11.
“The feedback indicated that stakeholders generally were satisfied with the current calendar, but wanted small changes made, including a longer summer break,” the committee concluded. “The majority of stakeholders were willing to shorten other breaks during the year, including fall break and spring break), in order to end the school year earlier.”
Barring any lingering impacts from the current public health emergency that has schools closed to in-person learning until April 30 (per Gov. Jared Polis’s latest order issued Wednesday), next school year will begin Aug. 17 and end May 27, 2021.
School is set to end this year on June 4, and in some prior years that end date has landed in the second week of June.
The new calendar was approved unanimously on first reading by the school board, 5-0. It is expected to come up for consideration on second reading for final adoption at the board’s April 7 meeting.
Next year’s calendar largely mirrors this year’s calendar, with the following changes:
- Ending the school year in late May to lengthen summer by one week
- Shortening spring break to one full week, March 22-26, 2021
- Shortening fall break to one day, providing three-day weekend Oct. 16-18
- Adjusting parent-teacher conference days to better align with instructional weeks (on Oct. 30 and March 19).
During the March 11 meeting, the board did hear from one Basalt parent who requested the district look at scheduling spring break in April, instead of March. The idea would be to avoid what’s usually a busy stretch for the Aspen ski resorts when many parents have to work and can’t take advantage of the school break to travel or spend time with their children, who are out of school.
Angie Davlyn, senior project manager for the school district, said the calendar committee did look at an April spring break option, but decided it wasn’t feasible.
For teachers in particular, April is a difficult month to have students off because that’s when the Colorado Department of Education requires standardized testing to be done for most students, she said.
Superintendent Rob Stein added that the Roaring Fork Schools try to align their spring break with neighboring Garfield Re-2 Schools. Because a fair number of district staff live west of Glenwood Springs and have children in Re-2 schools, the spring break weeks need to be the same, he said.
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The Roaring Fork Schools have announced two new district staff changes this summer as the 2021-22 school year approaches.