After one year without it, it appears the one-week “mid-winter break” is returning to Seattle Public Schools next year. This year, what had been the “mid-winter break” week was bookended by three-day weekends. But a full week is back in the district’s announcement today of key dates for next year’s calendar – read on for the announcement published on the district website:
Seattle Public Schools and the Seattle Education Association have agreed to key dates for next year’s school calendar, including:
• frst day of school: Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2013;
• winter break: two weeks, from Dec. 23, 2013, to Jan. 3, 2014;
• mid-winter break: Feb. 17-21, 2014, including the Presidents Day holiday;
• spring break: April 14-18, 2014; and
• last day of school: yet to be determined (June 18 or 19, 2014).
The calendar also builds in four snow make-up days, including Jan. 31, 2014, May 23, 2014, and the two days after the last day of school. It’s important that families should plan for students to potentially be in school during these days, and to note that the last day of school could be Monday, June 23, 2014.
Still undetermined are three professional development days, designed to allow teachers and other instructional staff time to collaborate and participate in professional development activities.
The state requires schools to be in session 180 days. The District asked for a waiver to allow three of those days for professional development, but the Washington State Board of Education has not yet approved that waiver.
A vote from the state Board could come in July, and the Seattle School Board will need to approve the final calendar this summer. The state action could impact the date for the last day of school.
Also, still to be determined are the three days before Thanksgiving. In the past several years, elementary school students did not have school the week of Thanksgiving because of parent-teacher conferences. If waiver days are not approved, the District and Seattle Education Association will have to determine early release days in November to accommodate conferences.