Talks on Aspen school calendar continue | AspenTimes.com

Talks on Aspen school calendar continue

ASPEN – The Aspen School District’s fact-finding mission into a balanced school calendar will continue into the New Year.

“The discussion about the calendar is ongoing,” said Aspen Superintendent John Maloy, following Monday’s regularly scheduled board meeting. “No decisions have been made, but we are taking steps to keep the process moving forward and keep the lines of communication open.”

The Aspen School Board launched a discussion this fall about potentially changing the school calendar from a traditional September-June model to one that comprises a nine-week on, two-week off schedule with a seven-week summer break, or some variation therein. A standing-room-only public forum on the subject in mid-November drew passionate parents on both sides; a group opposing the possible change has since formed and met once to discuss the topic.

Since that first meeting in which no decisions have been made, district officials have said they are on a “fact-finding mission” about what an alternative, or balanced, calendar would look like and whether it makes sense for Aspen.

At Monday’s meeting, school board members stayed the course by directing the District Accountability Committee’s calendar subcommittee to review and summarize input received on the subject thus far, as well as other pertinent data, and report back with their findings.

Maloy was charged with bringing back to the board teacher and staff input. Maloy is collecting this information through a series of meeting with each school, he said.

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“These have been good meetings,” said Maloy, declining to elaborate further. “And they are about more than just the calendar.”

Maloy said he is talking with his faculty about “what they see, as educators, as the ways we can ensure that all students’ needs are being met,” and that the school calendar is just one piece of the puzzle.

The DAC sub-committee and Maloy are scheduled to meet with the school board at an early January work session; a date for this was not confirmed of Monday night. The next school district-sponsored communication forum on the topic is tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 19 at 5:15 p.m. The board hopes to “have some more concrete recommendations regarding the look of the 2011-2012 calendar” by its Jan. 24 meeting.

Interested parents can follow the topic via the school district website at http://www.aspenk12.net.

jmcgovern@aspentimes.com

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