BY ARIELLE KRAUS
Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) is already planning for the 2020-2021 school year by proposing three calendars, and they are requesting the input of teachers, administrators, students and parents.
All three calendars consist of different options regarding the first day of school, the last day of school, planning days, early release days and holiday breaks.
Proposed calendar option 2 includes a start date of Wednesday, August 19, 2020, which continues the Wednesday start date that began 2 years ago. This calendar includes the typical three-day Thanksgiving break, two-week winter break and one-week spring break.
Some differences in option 2, compared to the current school calendar, include the last day of school being on a Monday and ending second quarter on a Wednesday. Students and staff would return from winter break on Monday, January 4, 2021, have an early release day on Tuesday and a teacher planning day on Wednesday.
“I prefer starting on a Monday over a Wednesday because it gives me more time to adjust to the new school year and my new teachers.”
Proposed calendar option 2A also includes a start date of Wednesday, August 19, 2020. This calendar includes something that is very appealing to many BCPS faculty, students and parents: a full week off for Thanksgiving break. This is something that other counties in Florida have included in their school calendar, including Palm Beach County.
“This calendar allows for families to spend time together for the entire week of Thanksgiving,” early childhood education instructor Deborah Covard said. “I believe that this time is so valuable for families. We only have so much time to spend with our children before they are off to college and adult life, [so] the memories we build during the holidays are so precious.”
Option 3 includes a Monday start date of August 24, 2020. BCPS used to begin school on a Monday back in 2017, but then switched to a Wednesday start date to provide students and teachers with time “to settle and organize,” according to district officials. This calendar also includes a later end date of June 10, 2021 for students and June 11, 2021 for staff members.
“I prefer starting on a Monday over a Wednesday because it gives me more time to adjust to the new school year and my new teachers,” junior William Barringer said. “[When we start] on a three day week, things are very slow. I think if we had a [full] week, things would move a lot quicker.”
“All of us should have a say and it should be a collective decision, not just one that the school board implements without everyone’s input.”
The start date of August 24 is much later than the start date has been in recent years. The 2019-2020 school year began on August 14, so option 3 would have school starting 10 days later than this year.
“I prefer the third calendar because there is a later start date for the beginning of school,” junior Samantha Sigal said. “Recently, our summers have become slightly shorter, so this start date would alleviate a lot of frustration from students.”
Only one of these calendars will be used for next year, therefore, BCPS has published a survey where parents, students, administrators and faculty can vote for the one they would like to see in the upcoming school year.
“I think it is important [to include our input] because we are all affected by the change in the calendar,” Covard said. “All of us should have a say and it should be a collective decision, not just one that the school board implements without everyone’s input.”
Photo by The Lariat Photography