Superintendent’s Blog – 09/21/2017

The Opening of School and 2018-2019 ConVal School District Calendar

Admittedly, this is my first blog—ever, but reaching the entire ConVal community is an aspirational goal.  I plan to work toward this goal by “blogging” every other week about ConVal events, topics of relevance to our school community, and about the important work that we do as the public school system that serves our 9 communities.  The topic of this particular blog, is the incredible and exciting opening to school and, believe it or not, the 2018-2019 school calendar!

With a solid three weeks of school having gone by, I can confidently say that our opening has been stupendous thanks to the great work of the entire ConVal community!  We have so many incredible programs and opportunities taking place.  Specifically, the ConVal 1-1 initiative, which will put a Google Chromebook in all 7th-10th graders’ hands this school year.  This initiative will allow teachers to leverage the power of technology and collaboration for instruction, and we look forward to expanding this to other grades next year.

As we begin the 2017-2018 school year, we also begin to think of the school calendar for 2018-2019.  Last year, we sent out a brief survey asking for feedback from parents, students, teachers, and community members about the ConVal School District calendar.  We received just over 700 responses; 65% of the responses were from parents and 25 % of the responses were from ConVal staff members. The results were somewhat surprising.

Two-thirds of respondents said that they preferred to start school in late August, while there seemed to be some room to discuss the week at Thanksgiving recess.  There was no consensus around the February and April breaks, but there were a variety of suggestions and examples about how these might happen differently.  Finally, there were many that asked to be able to look closely at not just the calendar, but the start and end time of school.

While we could run forums and ask for participation to discuss the calendar, I have found that the forum structure tends to be under-attended.  I am hoping that some of you reading this will consider hosting a small gathering where you and a group of neighbors or friends might be willing to talk to me about the challenges and benefits of the calendar, what you might prefer, and the possibilities that you may not have even thought of.  If you would consider hosting such an event during late October, November, or early December, please email me at

Have a great week!