DEARBORN — Dearborn Public Schools updated its next year’s calendar, making spring break 2020 a day shorter due to state testing schedules, but ending the school year a day earlier.
Spring break next year will run from April 6 to 10. The following Monday, April 13, will be a regular day of school instead of an additional day off. This is because juniors and some seniors across the state will take the required SAT test on April 14. District officials felt it prudent to get students settled back into school for a day before the exam. SAT is used to measure student growth and as a college entrance exam.
Since spring break was shortened, the last day of school was also moved up a day to June 11.
The Dearborn Federation of Teachers approved the calendar updates June 6.
All other aspects of the calendar initially released in January are still the same. That includes starting school on Aug. 26 with a half day. Students and staff will have both Friday and Monday off for a long Labor Day weekend.
The district will also be closed for a full week Feb. 17 to 21 for midwinter break. Eid al-Fitr also will be days off, but that coincides with Memorial Day weekend in 2020, which was already four days off for the district.
Many factors go into determining the school calendar including a state requirement for 180 days of school, a countywide common calendar, community needs, and professional development obligations. DPS and DFT spend many hours working together on the various details that need to be considered before a final calendar is approved.
The 2019-20 calendar is only the second time DPS has had to follow a change in state law requiring schools to provide 180 days of instruction. That change added five days for the current school year. Another state law requires that school start after Labor Day, but in recent years districts have been allowed to request a waiver to start earlier. Next year will be the second time since 2006 DPS has started before Labor Day.
The county common calendar sets the dates for winter break, spring break, Good Friday and Presidents Day. The school calendar also must reflect the needs of the local community, which for Dearborn means days off around the Eid holidays. Districts lose some state funding if attendance falls below 75 percent at any building.
The 2019-20 district calendar once again includes late start dates that will be used for professional development and school improvement planning. The late start dates have been helpful in providing teachers and principals with time to meet, collaborate with colleagues, work on school improvement goals, and improve student instruction, officials said.
The first of the seven late start dates will occur on Sept. 25. Late starts will continue on various Wednesdays throughout the year.
The 2019-20 calendar is posted on the DPS website and can be accessed by going to https://dearbornschools.org/services/district-calendars. Visitors may download a PDF version or view an online calendar. Parents may check with their child’s school for events and activities unique to their school and not appearing on the district calendar.