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Newberg students to get entire Thanksgiving week off


Education — School board approves 2014-2015 academic calendar, discuss other issues

School’s out for … Thanksgiving?

“Summer” is rock ’n roller Alice Cooper’s proclamation, but students in Newberg Public Schools will probably put their own spin on the chorus of the teenage anthem in November after the school board approved a new calendar for the 2014-2015 school year at its April 22 meeting.

After discussing poor attendance during the week of Thanksgiving and the need for increased staff development at meetings this spring, superintendent Kym LeBlanc-Esparza submitted three options for students, parents, staff and community members could to appraise in a one-week online poll.

More than 57 percent of the 445 voters chose option No. 3, which calls for students to have the entire week of Thanksgiving off, while teachers will report for staff development and prep time on Monday and Tuesday.

“We needed to have the time in for staff development and the prep days,” said district spokeswoman Claudia Stewart. “We heard a great deal about poor attendance that week of Thanksgiving, so we examined attendance figures for that week. The Wednesday before Thanksgiving, there’s a significant reduction in attendance in schools and we see the rate down the entire week.”

The main differences between the format that was ultimately approved by a 7-0 vote and the other two options was when the two staff development days would take place. Both option No. 1 and No. 2 called for those to fall in January, which would have meant students would return to school from winter break one day later and added three-day weekends in addition to the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

The approved calendar will feature 84 days of instruction in the first semester and 88 in the second.

Other than that particular issue, LeBlanc-Esparza said district staff used the same basic format the district has used the past two years to build the calendar.

Among the key events on the calendar are: the first day of school (Sept. 2), the first day of kindergarten (Sept. 4), conferences (Oct. 30-31), winter break (Dec. 22-Jan 2.), spring break (March 23-27), Newberg High School graduation (June 5) and the last day of school (June 11).

To view the 2014-2015 calendar, visit www.newberg.k12.or.us/calendar.