School calendar nothing new
March 7, 2016
If there is one thing Douglas County has experienced over the last three decades it's a variety of school calendars.
The announcement that Douglas was shaving two weeks off the summer to add more down time in the other seasons is not the most radical calendar change the county has experienced.
That would be the experiment with year-round school that began in the late 1980s and continued through into opening of the 21st Century.
Designed to make the most of the county's elementary school space, that was modified into the dreaded multi-track calendar. That calendar saw elementary school children divided into four different groups, each of which had its own calendar. Multi-track never made it to the middle or high schools, so families with children in elementary and middle or high school had different children on different calendars.
Compared to that, the new balanced calendar is pretty bland.
At least this calendar has all the grades in one area going to school at pretty much the same time.
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The new calendar resurrects the old Douglas County ski week in February and adds a new week off in October around Nevada Day. The real question we have is the wisdom of unhooking spring break from Easter, but that won't happen next year, and could well be subject to other pressures in the future.
While we would prefer that there had been an overwhelming majority in favor of the new calendar in the district's survey, a 50-50 response doesn't sound like there was overwhelming opposition to it either.
We know there will be parents and district employees who oppose the new calendar for a variety of reasons, but we've never seen an instance where a new school calendar made everyone happy.