Looking to address parent concerns, Shawnee Mission approves 2017-18 calendar with more full 5-day weeks

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Parents frustrated by the slew of incomplete school weeks packed into the Shawnee Mission School District’s third quarter calendar this year are likely to be pleased with the schedule for next year.

Largely in response to complaints from district families, administrators crafted a calendar for next year that significantly increases the number of full five-day school weeks and cuts back on the number of early release days. Saying that he had spoken with more than 50 parents about calendar issues, Assistant Superintendent for Instructional Support Rick Atha told the school board Monday that his office had clearly received the message that incomplete school weeks are “disruptive to their family schedule.”

The 2017-18 calendar approved by the board of education on Monday:

  • Increases the number of complete five-day school weeks from 21 in 2016-17 to 26 in 2017-18
  • Increases the number of student contact days for teachers from 175 this year to 178 next year
  • Shifts parent-teacher conferences completely to evening hours, freeing up two school days for instruction that had been reserved for parent-teacher meetings in the past. District teachers will now earn two flex days as a way to compensate for the additional work time they will have outside their contract hours with the new evening conferences.
  • Creates a full five-day break the week of Thanksgiving.

The first day of school for most students will be Aug. 11. The scheduled final day of school will be May 25.

“Hopefully this calendar gives more flexibility to our parents, and is respectful of their families, and meets the needs of our kids,” Atha said.

The calendar is embedded below. Click the image to enlarge it if you’re having a hard time making out the copy: