Durango School District 9-R has revised its academic calendar for school year 2020-21 – moving to full teacher workdays one Monday each month in place of weekly early release Mondays.
Superintendent Dan Snowberger said early release Mondays were designed to provide planning and professional days for teachers with the ultimate aim to see students’ academic performance improve, especially in state-mandated testing.
In recent years, however, students’ test scores have plateaued, and Snowberger said providing a full day for professional development would provide more time for teacher development and more help for teachers as they work to implement new concepts in the classroom.
“I’m really concerned about teachers’ work time, and to have a focused day to devote to professional development would be beneficial, and it would help in implementation of new strategies in the classroom. In the past, we’ve focused on professional development, and then it’s been a little bit of good luck in implementation,” he said at a work session in March.
To help families that struggle to find child care on weekdays when school is out, 9-R will hold enrichment events for all kindergarten to eighth grade students, with full bus service, during the Monday professional days.
Events such as science days at the Powerhouse Science Center and recreation days at Durango Community Recreation Center and other locales around Durango, similar to field trips, would be offered to kindergarten to eighth grade students during the Monday professional days.
The 9-R school board unanimously approved the schedule change March 24.
Professional days set for the 2020-21 calendar will be: Sept. 28, Oct. 26, Nov. 30, Jan. 25, Feb. 22, March 29 and April 26.