Calendar Survey Results
In mid-November, we launched a community survey to gather input from the District 49 family about calendar priorities. We promoted the survey through a targeted email campaign to district stakesholders as well as via our district website and social media accounts. Over 2,200 respondents shared insights from parents, student, staff and community perspectives. We are grateful for the strong response and thoughtful ratings and comments that emerged from this process.
- Start Date
- Teacher Professional Development
- Fall Break
- Veterans Day
- Thanksgiving Break
- Christmas Break
- Spring Break
- Graduation/End of School
Of the eight calendar options, Christmas Break and the End of Year/Graduation were items with high initial consensus. There was no pre-survey support for shortening Christmas break or extending the school year past Memorial Day, so those two options were presented for confirmation or comment in the survey.
For the other six calendar items, consensus centered around keeping the particular area as it is currently implemented, or an option for adjusting the calendar. The options for change are presented on the second page with representative comments. Respondents were also asked to share how important each area of the calendar is to them.Maintain/Change Legend Importance Legend█ Strongly Agree █ Strongly Agree█ Agree █ Agree█ Neutral█ Disagree█ Strongly Disagree
START OF SCHOOL(58% support to maintain - high importance)Representative CommentsDISTRICT 49 SHOULD MAINTAIN A START DATE WITHIN TWO DAYS OF AUG. 1."I really value the early start... with the 2 weeks in Oct and Winter Break and Spring Break."DISTRICT 49 SHOULD CHANGE THE START DATE TO ONE WEEK LATER, WITHIN TWO DAYS OF AUG. 7."Find any solution to starting August 1st. Lose 2 weeks from the two breaks etc. or go into June. August 1st is too soon to begin."
FALL BREAK(72% support to maintain - very high importance)Representative CommentsDISTRICT 49 SHOULD MAINTAIN A TWO-WEEK FALL BREAK IN THE MIDDLE OF OCTOBER."Please honor the tradition of our school district for many years by keeping our two week fall and spring breaks. It is something special to our district which not only keeps teachers here but also attracts them. If we lose this, we may lose many great teachers who can get paid more in other districts- especially with teacher shortages coming our way. As a parent it is also important to have this time with my daughter thank you."DISTRICT 49 SHOULD CHANGE THE CALENDAR, REDUCING FALL BREAK TO ONE WEEK."For families with both parents working full time, we can easily make plans for summer break but the two week breaks in between becomes increasingly difficult to schedule. Teenage crime also seems to go up with too much time off during these breaks."DISTRICT 49 SHOULD ELIMINATE FALL BREAK."Just to reiterate: Eliminate Fall Break."
THANKSGIVING BREAK(80% support to maintain - high importance)Representative CommentsDISTRICT 49 SHOULD MAINTAIN A FULL-WEEK THANKSGIVING BREAK FOR TEACHERS AND STUDENTS."Many people travel for Thanksgiving and the week long break allows them to get a good visit with family."DISTRICT 49 SHOULD CHANGE THE CALENDAR, HOLDING SCHOOL ON MON. & TUE. OF THANKSGIVING WEEK."If there is a full week or two off in October, there is no need for a full week off in November for Thanksgiving. It puts it having 3 months in a row having vacations, that’s too much. Its hard for kids to maintain their routines because of that."
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT(no clear consensus - moderate importance)Representative Comments
DISTRICT 49 SHOULD MAINTAIN SCHOOL & ZONE AUTONOMY FOR PROFESSIONAL WORK (NO STUDENTS) DAYS.I have no issues calendar wise. I like it how it is. I prefer to keep it this way.DISTRICT 49 SHOULD CHANGE ITS CALENDAR TO UNIFY PROFESSIONAL WORK DAYS.Have all of the calendars match to include grade school, middle school and high school for those parents who have children in more than one school.
VETERANS DAY(50% support to maintain - moderate importance)Representative CommentsDISTRICT 49 SHOULD MAINTAIN A CALENDAR WHERE STUDENTS ATTEND SCHOOL ON VETERANS DAY.Veterans day is a wash for me, because I would love the day off for us to spend as a family as my husband is in the military, but I love the programs put on by the schools too.DISTRICT 49 SHOULD CHANGE THE CALENDAR TO CLOSE SCHOOL ON VETERANS DAY.Please do not change our calendar except for closing our school for Veteran’s Day out of respect for our wonderful heroes in our community.
SPRING BREAK(72% support to maintain - very high importance)Representative CommentsDISTRICT 49 SHOULD MAINTAIN A TWO-WEEK SPRING BREAK FROM LATE MARCH TO EARLY APRIL.The calendar, as it now stands, is one of the single biggest reasons we chose to send our children to school in District 49. Other district calendars did not have the benefits that 49 has. We especially like the shorter summer break and the extra other breaks throughout the school year. Especially the 2-week Oct break that allows for vacations during cheaper off-season times without taking our children out of school.DISTRICT 49 SHOULD CHANGE THE CALENDAR & REDUCE SPRING BREAK TO ONE WEEK IN LATE MARCH.I think two week fall and spring breaks are too long. I’d prefer to have one week during those times and allow children to start school later.
Calendar Survey Results - Next Steps
Clear consensus emerged around maintaining the existing calendar breaks. Many comments, particularly from staff members, mentioned the break structure as an important factor in choosing District 49 as a place to work. There was some consensus, although not as strong, around remaining in school for Veterans Day. Many schools in the district use the day as a teaching opportunity, with visits from active and former service members and educational learning taking place in Veterans Day assemblies.There wasn't any clear consensus regarding professional development days, although many comments mentioned that unifying teacher work days across the zones would make it easier for families with regards to scheduling.District 49 leaders will present the survey results and any recommended changes to the calendar during the Board of Education meeting on January 14. If changes are proposed, the BOE may choose to vote on accepting the changes during their meeting in February.