For middle and high schools, to gain back instructional time, teachers will not administer final exams during the first semester. Instead, teachers will administer unit exams or assign projects as a way to assess student mastery of content. As a result, December 17th and 18th will become full instructional days instead of half days devoted only to exams. In addition, it is anticipated that 3 - 4 days of instructional time will be gained that previously would have been used for review/prep for finals.
For elementary schools, in order to gain back instructional time, October 23rd and 24th, which were previously early release half days will be full instructional days.
In making this determination, the District looked at several far less palatable solutions, including:
- Extending the first semester until after Winter Break with first semester finals in January;
- Going to school on Saturdays;
- Reducing the number of holidays including impacting Thanksgiving and/or the Winter Break;
- Eliminating Spring Break and/or Good Friday;
- Adding an additional hour to each school day.
Update: Click here for the posting of additional information about this decision on the District's website, including the Amended 2008-2009 School Calendar.