District 9-R considers modified school calendar

Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2009 1:04 AM

Durango School District 9-R wants parents, students and teachers to help decide the school calendar for 2009-10.

The district is considering whether it wants to keep to its traditional calendar or adopt one aligned with Fort Lewis College.

The district has long faced complaints from some parents that vacations at FLC and 9-R do not coincide.

On draft calendars submitted to the school board, the first and last days of school are comparable, with school beginning in late August and ending in late May.

The modified calendar includes a weeklong break for Thanksgiving, from Nov. 20 to Nov. 29 including the weekends. The traditional calendar gives only Nov. 20-22 and Nov. 26-29 off.

Assistant Superintendent Priscilla Huston said the Friday before Thanksgiving break is the last day of the trimester.

"It seemed like a natural place for a break," she said.

The days before Thanksgiving break also have had high rates of absenteeism.

The modified calendar calls for a much earlier spring break, March 5-14. The traditional calendar would put spring break at March 27-April 4.

Also, 9-R will operate on one calendar for all school levels, a change from current practice.

District 9-R has posted the calendars on its Web site at

Those interested have until Feb. 20 to comment.

Since Friday, 9-R has garnered more than 300 responses, Huston said. She said the results were not tabulated yet.

The calendars were designed by a school district calendar committee led by Huston. The school board must sign off on the final calendar.

Huston said she cannot respond to questions submitted through the district's Web site, but she welcomes questions by phone at 247-5411, ext. 1454, or by e-mail at phuston@durango.