DPS building

Calendar Recommendations

2020-21 Calendar Recommendation

The TABS (Teacher, Administrator, Board and Support Staff) committee was tasked by the Board of Trustees for the planning process, outreach, and creation of draft town school and rural school calendars for the 2020-21 school year. The draft calendars were presented to the Board of Trustees for approval. The TABS committee consists of teachers from each school, an administrator, a member of the board of trustees, and three support staff representatives.  The committee is facilitated by the Assistant Superintendent.

 

The TABS committee agreed upon the following guiding principles to utilize when creating the draft calendars:

  • Maximize student learning by:
    • providing significant stretches of uninterrupted time for teaching and learning;
    • maintaining instructional contact time;
    • giving students ample time to prepare for state assessments.
  • Maximize student and staff attendance to support student learning.
  • Provide support for the Board of Trustee’s goals and strategic initiatives.
  • Support student participation in a wide range of school-related activities including athletics, activities, concurrent credit opportunities, etc.
  • Set teachers up to do their best teaching by:
    • recognizing the importance of professional development for staff;
    • embedding time for professional learning at strategic intervals throughout the year.
  • Consider the economic realities of our community.
  • Provide efficiency, effectiveness, and sustainability by conducting a 3-year calendar cycle (which will be formulated beginning with the 2021-22 district calendar). Changes may be made more frequently at the recommendation of the TABS committee or Board of Trustees for unexpected events.
  • Ensure that the calendar satisfies Wyoming statutes and rules and regulations defined by the Wyoming Department of Education.

 

In addition, the following items define what is in or out of scope in the work conducted by the TABS committee:

In Scope Out of Scope
  • Impact on student learning
  • Alignment to strategic initiatives
  • Design of district calendar and process
    • Include a prioritization mechanism
    • Establish a calendar review cycle
    • Establish the indicators for monitoring effectiveness
    • Monitor and report actual absence data
  • Evaluate and maintain calendar effectiveness
  • Meeting state regulations/statutes
  • Explanation of alternative calendar
  • Communication to TABS
  • Communication from TABS
  • Attendance or absence incentives/policies
  • Building bell schedules
  • Building/district bus schedules
  • Teacher planning times/periods
  • Day care/child care needs
  • Athletic/activity schedules
  • Professional development/workforce safety topics
  • Parent/teacher conference schedules
  • Snow day/late start decisions
 
The committee received general direction from the Board of Trustees and also considered attendance data.  The committee then used that knowledge to create calendar drafts based on the guiding principles.  The rationale for the drafts was as follows:
Guiding Principle Rationale

Maximize student learning by: 

  • providing significant stretches of uninterrupted time for teaching and learning;
  •  maintaining instructional contact time;
  • giving students ample time to prepare for state assessments. 
  • We do not lessen instructional time from previous years and meet state statue requirements. 
  • There are adequate instructional hours (student contact time) before state assessment windows. 
  • Moving to full day professional learning days allow us to gain three instructional hours while attending one less day. 
  • The state assessment window is not impacted by spring break or shortened weeks. 
Maximize student and staff attendance to support student learning.  High impact Fridays are days data indicates large staff and student absences due to events and activities. 
Provide support for the Board of Trustee’s goals and strategic initiatives. 
  • Calendar provides time to support uninterrupted time for teaching and learning to increase achievement and growth.
  • Is modified from previous years in an effort to continuously improve. 
  • Is effective and efficient. 
Support student participation in a wide range of school-related activities including athletics, activities, concurrent credit opportunities, etc.  Calendar provides time for practice and events. 

Set teachers up to do their best teaching by:

  • recognizing the importance of professional learning for staff;
  • embedding time for professional learning at strategic intervals throughout the year. 
  • Disperses professional learning throughout the year, enabling teachers to participate in an action cycle of learning, applying, reflecting, adjusting.
  • Maximizes professional learning by providing uninterrupted time. 
Consider the economic realities of our community. 
  • Professional learning days align to national holidays for parent convenience. 
  • Classified staff will utilize professional learning days to work on continuous improvement initiatives, department training, etc. It is not the intent that classified staff hours be lessened. 
Ensure that the calendar satisfies Wyoming statutes and rules and regulations defined by the Wyoming Department of Education.  Meets all state statutes.

 

TABS members shared this rationale and solicited feedback from their schools and departments. Principals gathered feedback from Parent Advisory Councils (PACs). A public meeting was advertised in the Douglas Budget to solicit community feedback.

 

In response to the feedback, and how the feedback aligned with our guiding principles and state statues, a final draft was prepared and presented to the Board of Trustees for approval on March 10, 2020.  Because so many opinions were shared through this process--many advocating for both sides of an interest--we recognize that there will be those who are disappointed with the choices made in the final calendar draft. We believe the calendar approved by the Board of Trustees represents a calendar tightly aligned with and in support of the guiding principles and the district mission and vision.