Commentary: Benefits of early school start date outweigh concerns about summer heat
By Marisa Crabtree In the new era of the Local Control Funding Formula and the Every Student Succeeds Act, school districts have begun showing a renewed dedication to teacher, parent and community engagement. I was disappointed, however, that the Los Angeles Unified School District missed an opportunity to weigh student, family and community concerns before deciding to shift the school...
By Guest contributor | October 7, 2016
Why California’s Teacher of the Year thinks moving the school calendar is a bad idea
The school board just made Daniel Jocz’s job a lot harder. Jocz, who is a National Teacher of the Year finalist and the 2016 California State Teacher of the Year, already has to record lectures and give homework to cover five chapters of American history over the summer. He does that so his students can...
By Mike Szymanski | September 21, 2016
JUST IN: School starts one week later next year, then inches toward Labor Day, LAUSD decides
The LA Unified school board decided Tuesday night to start school one week later next year, moving the start date to Aug. 22, then to Aug. 28 the following year. After passionate debate on both sides, five school board members voted for the change, and two voted against it. The number of days of instruction...
By Mike Szymanski | September 20, 2016
Hot topic: Would a later start to school year really save money? LAUSD data are mixed
Despite temperatures hovering in the 90s for the rest of the week for many LA Unified schools, calls for air-conditioning repairs haven’t gotten out of hand. Yet a proposal being introduced by three LA Unified School board members next week could change the start of the school year until after Labor Day, and one of the biggest reasons given...
By Mike Szymanski | August 18, 2016
Some LAUSD charter schools reopening this week
While a majority of LA Unified’s traditional schools scheduled to reopen next Monday, Jan. 11, about 75 district charters are starting this week. Some of the independent charter schools elected to truncate their winter break by one week, limiting the winter break to two weeks while opting for a longer spring break or an earlier...
By Mike Szymanski | January 4, 2016
Parent petition urging LAUSD board to ‘Save Our Summer!’
* UPDATED As LA Unified studies several academic calendar options while also reaching out for public input, a group of parents has started an online petition, asking the district not to consider the “extreme” option of shortening summer break to five weeks while extending winter break to seven. An advisory panel is currently studying six...
By Craig Clough | December 1, 2015
District makes last push for staff, family input on school calendar
LAUSD is making another strong push for input from families and employees to see what the school schedule should be for the next three years. And, the district is providing lots of back-up materials to help inform choices, including a comparison of student test scores in traditional school years versus early school calendars, electricity consumption costs for the...
By Mike Szymanski | November 24, 2015
LA Unified seeking more community input on school calendar
So far, LA Unified parents seemed more interested in weighing in on the school calendar than on the superintendent search. Twenty parents and teachers showed up at a community forum last Thursday night at Burroughs Middle School in Hancock Park. That is a robust number compared with the average turnout at community forums held over two...
By Mike Szymanski | November 2, 2015
Calls are coming to ask about a new school calendar for LA Unified
If you’re an employee at LAUSD or have a child going to a school in the district, expect a call this weekend to ask about what your preference is for a new school calendar. Last evening, Superintendent Ramon Cortines sent out a recorded robo-call that notified teachers and parents that the district will be making three attempts...
By Mike Szymanski | September 25, 2015
No real secret to why those LAUSD school days off are ‘unassigned’
It may seem arbitrary, but there are usually half a dozen days off in the LAUSD school calendar that are called “Unassigned Days.” They are not for an official state or federal holiday, but somehow they usually coincide with a religious holiday. So, the first Unassigned Day of the year fell on Sept. 14 when teachers...
By Mike Szymanski | September 22, 2015