Eagle County Schools tweak trimesters | VailDaily.com

Eagle County Schools tweak trimesters

Daily staff report
newsroom@vaildaily.com
Vail, CO Colorado

EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado – The Eagle County School District has made several changes to the schedule for the 2010-11 school year.

They include:

• The previous end date of trimester one was Nov. 11, with a start date of trimester two on Nov. 15. The new end date of trimester one will be Nov. 23, with a start date of trimester two on Nov. 29. Teachers will maintain their regularly scheduled work day on Nov. 12.

• The teacher work day on Feb. 28 will now be a regular school-in-session day. The new teacher work day for trimester two will be on March 11.

• The previous end date for trimester two was Feb. 18, with a start date of trimester three on March 1. The new end date of trimester two will be March 10, with a start date of trimester three on March 14. Teachers will maintain their regularly scheduled work day of June 9.

The changes do not affect the start and end dates of the school year. Spring and fall breaks will remain in tact.

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For families, the main change to the calendar is school will now be in session on Feb. 28. For teachers, the main change to the calendar is the previously scheduled work day on Feb. 28 will now be a regular school-in-session day. The new work day will be on March 11.

Each year for the past several years, a calendar committee has developed a school year calendar that best meets the instructional needs of students, includes adequate staff development days and reflects the interest of the community at large. Membership consists of one parent from each school receiving transportation services, one east-end teacher, one west-end teacher, one representative from the district’s transportation department, one elementary principal, one secondary principal and one board member.

During the 2009-10 school year, the committee incorporated input from more than 800 parents, community members and staff members that was overwhelmingly supportive of trying a new calendar for the 2010-11 school year. Similar to Steamboat’s school year calendar, the main changes included: adding an October break; providing an additional winter break in February; and moving spring break from March to April.

While it was known that the trimesters were not exactly in line with one another in terms of number of instructional days, recently it was discovered that the differences in trimesters did not meet board policy.

Eagle County Schools administrators, teachers and the board of education are working collaboratively to provide a rigorous academic experience for all kids. In order to maintain their integrity and commitment to education, they adjusted the trimesters.

“We realize the modifications to the previously published school year calendar will present some challenges for our staff members and families who have already made plans, and for that we apologize,” said Heather Eberts, director of curriculum, instruction and assessment. “We tried to make minimal changes to the calendar that would ensure we are adhering to policy and remaining dedicated to the academic success of our students. Instructional time for our kids is simply not worth compromising.”

At the annual board retreat on July 20, the school board held a regular session in order to approve the 2010-11 calendar changes.

For more information, visit http://www.eagleschools.net or contact Heather Eberts at heather.eberts@eagleschools.net.