With classes out for the year, Seattle schools already have parents looking ahead to next year with what the district calls an “unusual action” taken by the school board.
The board has approved two separate academic calendars for the 2013-2014 school year, as it awaits a response from the Washington State Board of Education on Seattle request to waive the mandatory 180 days of instruction.
As the KING 5 Investigators previously reported, Seattle was the largest of six Washington school districts whose waiver applications were denied in an unprecedented vote by state school board members last month.
KING 5 reported that state board rarely denied school calendar waivers and that the use of waivers by districts had shot up more than 300% within a few years.
The districts typically use waivers for parent/teacher conferences and for teacher training and collaboration on lesson plans.
On waiver days, students don’t come to class – freeing up time for teachers and administrators to get other work done. This allows the districts to avoid paying teachers for the work outside of normal scheduled hours.
Seattle originally sought six waiver days. In a news release issued yesterday it says the Washington State Board of Education last week granted Seattle three days for parent/teacher conferences. The other three days for teacher development and lesson plan collaboration are still up in the air.
One calendar approved by the Seattle School Board includes six waiver days. The district’s “Option B” calendar has students coming to school on three of those days.
In either scenario, school would start on Sept. 4th and end on June 18 or 19th.