First Day of School

First Day of School
8/20/2018, 9:00 AM 10:00 AM

What’s New This Year
February Break. Similar to other school districts in the Northeast, DCPS will have a week-long vacation in late-February. This gives families an opportunity to rest during the long period between Winter Break and Spring Break.

Longer Thanksgiving Break. We want teachers and families to have sufficient time for restful holidays. In the past, we heard many community members advocate for vacation on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. We were able to implement that change this year. Families will have more time for travel under the new calendar.

Non-instructional days clustered around the change of term. Teachers expressed that it’s easier to conduct PD at the change of term. This is a natural pause in the school year and a time of transition between instructional units.

More 5-day weeks. Last year many parents expressed displeasure around the number of Fridays off. There was a stretch in November to December when 5 out of 6 weeks had no school on Friday. Some parents found it difficult to secure childcare for just one day. Others were concerned that their students were missing instructional opportunities, for example, a Friday music class for elementary students. This year we attempted to make more 5-day weeks by having more non-instructional days on other days of the week. Unfortunately, this also means that there are several 3-day weeks on the calendar now.

Eliminated half-days for students. Two years ago, we heard that it was hard for parents to plan around student half-days, where students would attend from 8:30am-12:00pm. This year we fully eliminated all student half-days by tweaking our model for Professional Development.…

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