SURVEY: Change the school calendar?

Even if you don’t have a student in Seattle Public Schools, its annual calendar may affect you – for example, some independent schools follow it, and some school-vicinity neighborhoods’ day-to-day rhythms are yoked to it. So a survey launched today by the district might be of interest. SPS says it’s gathering feedback for future negotiations in which the district and its unions agree to calendar dates (this page includes the tentative dates for the next few years). In particular, the survey asks if you’d like to see changes in any of these current policies:

First Day of School – 1st Wednesday in September

Winter Break – at least 10 weekdays

Mid-Winter Break – President’s Day week

Spring Break – 2nd week in April

Emergency Closure Make-Up Days – currently day between semesters and end of school year

The survey’s open through November 13th; go here to participate.

15 Replies to "SURVEY: Change the school calendar?"

  • Kyle November 2, 2023 (6:42 am)

    The early dismissal on Wednesdays policy is so unfriendly to working parents. Especially parents with young kids now that the elementary start times are earlier. It forces midweek childcare (or tradeoffs at work) because the kids get out at 2pm and are too young to be left alone.

    • K November 2, 2023 (9:11 am)

      They actually get out even earlier on Wednesday’s- 1:10 pm!

    • Kat November 2, 2023 (9:25 am)

      Hard AGREE. Single parent here. Experiences vary of course but I get no child support, I’m self-employed, use DCYF childcare subsidy, and with child care centers severely understaffed I’m unable to get full time after-school care. So not only do I have to leave work early two days a week, on early dismissal days I have to leave extra early. It just doesn’t make sense to have early dismissal every week!  

    • AF November 3, 2023 (6:42 am)

      Im so with you on this Kyle. Early release on a Wednesday at 1:10 pm is ridiculous for working parents. At least make it a Friday if it has to happen at all. 

  • Teacher/parent November 2, 2023 (7:11 am)

    Mid winter break is hard on many struggling families. Make it the Friday before president’s day and the Tuesday after.  A five day break that shortens the school year in June.Closure days should be done virtually. We have the infrastructure already. Why extend the school year?

    • Tired Toddler Parent November 2, 2023 (9:44 am)

      +1We’re not even in SPS yet – my childcare provider follows SPS calendar and midwinter break is a nightmare. I don’t know anyone that has this many vacation days off. I’ve just learned that there is also an early dismissal every week?! How does any working parent make this schedule work? Does everyone else work for some magic company with unlimited PTO and Flex Time?! 😭

  • K November 2, 2023 (8:58 am)

    Yes, yes, yes!  Mid-winter break is ridiculous.  Kids are just getting back in to the rhythm of school post-winter break and then have another week off.  Then come back for a bit and then, boom, spring break.  That’s 4 weeks off of school in a 4 month span.  It’s hard for parents to keep taking time off or finding care to cover.  

  • Mellow Kitty November 2, 2023 (10:46 am)

    I joke with my husband about early release. He’ll ask if students are off early today. I respond with, of course they’re out early, it’s a day that ends in Y. The students get more vacation time than their parents who work an actual job. 

    • josh November 2, 2023 (1:13 pm)

      What a shame that children are not expected to work 40 hours a week 50 weeks a year, no wonder society is supposedly falling apart.  

  • bradley November 2, 2023 (12:42 pm)

    Chop off whatever is needed to move up last day of school from last week of June. to at least mid June or earlier.

  • Admiral-2009 November 2, 2023 (1:02 pm)

    It’s time to fully rethink the 180 day school year based on a agrarian society that no longer applies.  Expanding the School year to 200 days, 4 quarters, needs to be discussed.

    • Sarah November 2, 2023 (1:29 pm)

      That’s for sure, but I’d just love to hear what the teachers union would say about that!

      • Frog November 2, 2023 (4:12 pm)

        Send the young kids out of the room first.

        • JJ November 3, 2023 (6:10 am)

          The union would say that funding needs to be found to pay all school staff to work additional days. The question is, what would the State Legislature do to support this proposal?

  • Scar November 2, 2023 (11:03 pm)


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