Photo by John Schreiber.
Photo by John Schreiber.

A battle by parents, staff and teachers over vacations and school schedules has been resolved for the coming year at Los Angeles schools, but the controversy over the calendar is likely far from over.

The Los Angeles Unified School District’s Board of Education approved an instructional calendar for the 2017-18 school year that closely resembles the current one, with a one-week Thanksgiving break and a three-week winter break.

Classes will start in mid-August and end in early June of 2018.

The vote was 5 to 2 at Tuesday’s meeting, but board members asked Superintendent Michelle King to produce a report looking at potential changes in school calendars for the coming years.

“It has become extremely clear to me over the last several months that our students, schools and families have completely different needs and preferences when it comes to the instructional calendar, and I look forward to receiving more data on these various options,” said board member Ref Rodriguez. “I will continue to advocate for a differentiated calendar — two separate calendars for our secondary schools and elementary schools, with overlapping Thanksgiving and winter breaks — because I believe our district can innovatively provide an option that is not simply a one-size-fits-all approach and is actually more responsive to what we’ve heard on the ground.”

Board member Monica Ratliff said she was “glad that the board voted to provide stability and continuity to our families and staff by maintaining the early start calendar for the next year, but I believe that the calendar should have been set for three years to allow for planning and to stop this continual calendar debate.”

Separately, the board unanimously directed King to report on the state of the district’s school libraries, using standards developed by the state Department of Education. That report is due to be presented to the board’s Budget, Facilities and Audit Committee on April 4.

—City News Service

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