The Portland Public Schools Board of Education, at its meeting Tuesday night, unanimously approved the school calendar for 2018-19. The calendar, a draft of which had been posted on the district website for public perusal, features several changes from 2017-18.
A change in the November schedule has created a fall break for students the week of Thanksgiving. The two days of parent-teacher conferences that were held Nov. 8 and 9 in 2017 will be held on a Monday and Tuesday, Nov. 19 and 20, in 2018.
The district will close schools on Wednesday, Nov. 21, which combined with the traditional Thanksgiving and day after days off, creates a one-week fall break from classes for students.
“Staff shared with us the (feedback from) many stakeholders, whose input was considered in creating this new calendar,” said Board member Julie Esparza Brown, chair of the Board’s Teaching and Learning Committee that vetted the calendar after Superintendent Guadalupe Guerrero approved a final draft.
One other potential change would affect Presidents’ Day, traditionally a day on which schools and offices have been closed in PPS. However, Feb. 18, 2019 is being set aside as a snow makeup day in the event that a day is lost because of weather. The district will be required to announce by Jan. 18 if it will use Feb. 18 as a makeup day or if it will be a holiday day off.
“It’s important to note that this calendar reflects wise planning,” said Julia Brim-Edwards, Board chair. “In past years, PPS hasn’t always planned in advance for snow days. We’ve got an excellent plan for next year regardless of whether we have a year like last year or a year like this year. That should give our families something they can really count on.”