EVSC School Board Approves New School Calendar for Lincoln



Beginning this fall, Lincoln School students will start school on Aug. 14, just like the rest of the EVSC schools, following a vote during the EVSC School Board meeting tonight (5-6-13) moving the school from its “balanced calendar” to the EVSC school calendar. Lincoln will also offer 15 additional days of optional extended learning opportunities to the beginning of the school year. This “Jump Start” session from July 24 to Aug. 13, will accommodate the individual needs of families as a result of the calendar change.

This school board vote was taken following a thorough analysis of the effectiveness of the balanced calendar on student learning, school community input, and thoughtful consideration of other impact points. Parental opinions were gathered through site council meetings, two phone surveys, one door-to-door survey, and a paper survey that was sent home to families, who had not responded to the other surveys.

Families were found to be largely in favor of the move to the EVSC calendar, citing such advantages as having all of their children on the same school calendar (many have children at more than one school); and the ability to balance daycare and vacations more easily. It also allows students to take advantage of 21st Century Summer Learning opportunities that were not available in 1996, that are now in place and puts Lincoln into the EVSC timelines and support for testing and enrollment.

The history of the balanced calendar at Lincoln began the 1996-97 school year. This calendar is often referred to as the “year-long” calendar, because while students still attended school for the same 180 days the rest of the EVSC does, the days they attend are spread out all year, with vacation breaks throughout, as well as optional educational intersessions.

It was believed that by reducing the amount of summer vacation time, and balancing the school year with shorter vacations, the summer learning loss would be lessened. Intersession activities were planned for students that complemented lesson plans during the regular school year, with fun and educational activities combined. The components of the balanced calendar were funded through Title 1 monies.

Conversations about the efficacy of the intersessions began recently as state and federal funding cuts have grown, as well as the recent sequester that is reducing federally funded Title monies. An investigation showed that the balanced calendar was not having the educational effect it was hoped to – and ISTEP scores have remained basically flat for the past several years, following some modest gains. It was also determined that the number of students taking advantage of the intersession activities has declined steadily, including those enrolled for this summer.

Lincoln’s last day of school this year will be June 7. Then, the June intersession will still take place from June 10-21. Summer vacation will begin on June 24 and run to the start of school on Aug. 14. For those families wishing to take advantage of the Jump Start, it will begin on July 24.