For students in grades 1-12, the first day of the 2015-16 school year is Thursday, August 27. For Kindergarteners, the first day is Tuesday, September 1.

The PPS school year calendar is determined with direction from the school board. A calendar committee, composed of program administrators, principals, teachers, staff and parents, recommends a calendar to the school board. The school board then discusses and votes on the calendar. The 2014-15 and the 2015-16 calendars were set in the spring of 2014.

School begins Thursday, August 27 for grades 1-12 because:

  • Labor Day falls late this year: September 7 is too late to begin school after the holiday.
  • The school board and the calendar committee prioritized more instructional days at the start—rather than at the end—of the year, in order to provide as much instruction before seniors’ IB and AP exams (advanced coursework exams for college credit) and before annual spring testing for grades 3-8 and 11.

Other considerations included:

  1. Two days added to the school year
    The new contract agreement between PPS and the Portland Association of Teachers (the teachers’ union) added two instructional days to the school year.
  2. Kindergarten assessments
    Three days are needed for Kindergarten assessments before Kindergartners start school. The committee wanted Kindergartners to have a solid first week of school prior to the three-day Labor Day weekend.

Together, these considerations meant starting school Thursday, August 27 (for grades 1-12). Kindergarten assessments will be held August 27, 28 and 31. Kindergartners start school September 1.

View the entire 2015-16 Calendar (click “Calendar”). Questions can be directed to