Durango School District 9-R will move its calendar into closer alignment with Fort Lewis College after the plan won final approval from the school board Tuesday night.
The board voted 7-0 to change 9-R's calendar, expanding Thanksgiving break to a full week and moving spring back to early March.
Parents have complained for years that spring breaks for 9-R and FLC didn't coincide.
"I really like the modified calendar," said board member Jeff Schell.
The calendar will be uniform for all 9-R schools, a change from current practice, said Superintendent Keith Owen.
Assistant Superintendent Priscilla Huston spearheaded a committee that designed the new calendar. The school district posted a call for feedback on its Web site, generating 624 responses in two weeks. Most favored the modified calendar, which was presented along with a traditional calendar.
Some parents complained that the modified calendar makes spring break too early, Huston said. The modified calendar calls for a much earlier spring break, March 5-14. The traditional calendar would have put spring break at March 27-April 4.
Thanksgiving break will be longer under the new calendar. A weeklong break for Thanksgiving will stretch from Nov. 20 to Nov. 29 including the weekends. The traditional calendar would have given only Nov. 20-22 and Nov. 26-29 off.
The board approved calendars for 2009-10 and 2010-11 on Tuesday.
District 9-R also is discussing whether to move professional learning communities, as the district calls its Friday-afternoon conferences, to Wednesdays.
Friday "is not the best day for staff development for a multitude of reasons," Owen said, citing teacher fatigue and conflicts with athletics events. Some principals, Owen said, feel that "the energy level is just not there" on Friday afternoons.
Last year, 9-R teachers began meeting on Friday afternoons to discuss student performance, curriculum and other issues. The professional learning communities, or PLCs, require students to be released early on Fridays.