School calendar approved, but officials may look into future changes

School calendar approved, but officials may look into future changes

NORTH PROVIDENCE - With the passage of the 2014-2015 school calendar that keeps both February and April vacations intact, Supt. Melinda Smith has recommended officials create a committee to look into other options.

"A lot of school districts are looking at different ways to assemble their school calendars," Smith told the School Committee before they passed the calendar with a unanimous vote of 6-0.

Cumberland schools changed up their vacation dates this year, keeping April vacation and giving students a long weekend off in February instead of a full week.

That district's adopted calendar for the 2014-2015 year again includes a break for students on the Monday and Tuesday after Presidents Day, though teachers report Tuesday for professional development, and a full week off starting April 20.

In Lincoln, where vacations have not changed, Supt. Georgia Fortunato has said she believes if major calendar updates are to occur, it should be a statewide initiative.

At the meeting on March 26, Smith told School Committee members that perhaps a committee could research "some real evidence-based reasoning" to possible changes.

While discussion was minimal that night, School Committee member Stephen Palmieri expressed his concerns over the day before Thanksgiving, as he said it is a travel and Thanksgiving prep day for families.

"It's really a fun day" in classrooms, he said. "There's not a lot of work being done. It's a problem day."

He said he may try to have the day become a vacation day for the following year.

Regardless of future changes, the 2014-2015 calendar has been approved.

A teacher orientation and professional development day has been scheduled for Aug. 25, with students in kindergarten through grade 9 reporting Aug. 26, and students in grades 10-12 reporting Aug. 27.

Teachers are scheduled to attend a second professional development day on Sept. 9, when school is not in session because of the primary election.

The holiday recess will be held from Monday, Dec. 22, through Jan. 2, which is a Friday, so students will not report back until Monday, Jan. 5.

Winter and spring vacations are scheduled Feb. 16-20, and April 20-24.

The last day of school is set for June 15, or the 180th day, with June 16-22 set aside as make up days, if needed. North Providence High School graduation is scheduled for June 12.