Palo Alto Unified School District students and staff are currently unable to solidify their mid-year vacation plans for the 2017-18 school year due to delays caused by unforeseen adjustments to next school year’s calendar.
According to PAUSD Superintendent of Human Resources Scott Bowers, the calendar, which is determined at the district level, is behind schedule, as many proposed schedule changes are slowing down the committee’s process. The school year start and end dates, as well as various local holidays, have not yet been finalized.
“We fully expect the student start dates for 2017-2018 to be similar to 2016-2017 (that is, Monday 8/14/17 for HS and Tuesday, 8/15/17 for K-8),” the PAUSD website reads.
The calendar committee consists of teachers and administration who gather to discuss potential calendar schedules and submit a recommendation to the Board of Education. Typically, the committee discusses the calendar schedule in three-year increments, then presents the proposal to the board.
“The committee’s recommendation usually goes back to the bargaining teams for review and final agreement before it is presented to the board,” Bowers said. “The committee has done its work and now the negotiating teams are talking about the proposals.”
According to Bowers, the calendar will be finalized at the upcoming school board meeting.
As the calendar will be confirmed later than usual, students are unable to plan their vacations for next school year without the possibility of missing school.
“For people who take vacations and especially for people who are trying to plan their summers now, it’s hard because you don’t know when you are going to be back and whether you need to miss school,” junior Sarah Brodbeck said. “I don’t think I’ll necessarily be affected, but I know friends that definitely would be if they didn’t know what days they had to be at school.”
Paly staff are also experiencing issues in planning their yearly schedules.
“It is a little frustrating to not know what is going to happen next year this late in the school year,” librarian Rachel Kellerman said. “I hope they [the committee] are taking the input from past calendars to put together a really good calendar. I’m hoping the product will be worth the wait.”