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Balanced calendar. What’s not working, findings, sample calendar, next steps. Definitions. Traditional Calendar- Instructional days are divided over 9 months with a 3 month summer break.

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Balanced calendar

Balanced calendar

What’s not working, findings,

sample calendar, next steps



  • Traditional Calendar- Instructional days are divided over 9 months with a 3 month summer break.

  • Balanced calendar- Instructional days and breaks are divided into shorter units. Typical patterns are 60/20, 45/15, and 45/10 compared to 180/60.

Length of school year

Length of school year


  • A school board's annual calendar must include at least 165 days of instruction for a student in grades 1 through 11.

    Quantity of Instructional Days in Albert Lea on a traditional or balanced calendar

    • 173 days of grades K-5 (two less days to accommodate day time conferences)

    • 175 days grades 6-12

Board aim points

Board AIM Points

  • 80% of students are proficient in reading and math benchmarks

  • 90% reach yearly growth targets

  • 100 % Students identify career and college pathways that meet their skills and interest

  • 90% Graduation Rate

  • ACT Composite average of 23

District demographics

District Demographics

Why is the school board considering a balanced calendar

WHY is the school board considering a balanced calendar?

Summer learning loss fairchild r mclaughlin b brady j 2006

Summer learning lossFairchild, R. McLaughlin, B. & Brady, J. (2006).

Exploration stage

Exploration stage

  • Information meetings at each building in the district.

  • Informational meetings with community members.

  • Gather feedback for school board and public to consider.

  • Determine next steps



  • Students in modified calendar schools do as well or slightly better in terms of academic achievement than students in traditional schools.

  • Modified calendars may be particularly beneficial for students from low-income families.

  • Students, parents, and teachers who participate in a balanced calendar school tend to have positive attitudes about the experience.



  • Potential conflicts between community activities, family vacations and school

  • Potential challenge in arranging child care during off weeks

  • Potential for an Increased costs of operation

  • Potential loss of summer income for students

Current calendar

Current Calendar

Possible balanced calendar

Possible balanced calendar

Potential opportunities

Potential opportunities

Weeks off throughout the year could provide our students with opportunities.

  • Coordinated programming with Park and Rec, YMCA, community education, and other community groups.

  • Enrichment programming

  • Family time

  • Remediation opportunities K-8

  • Credit recovery opportunities 9-12

  • Job shadowing

  • Support family agriculture needs

  • Driver’s education or ACT prep courses

  • College visits

Initial thoughts

Initial thoughts?

Research sources

Research sources

  • Expanding Time for Learning Both Inside and Outside the Classroom: A review of evidence Base (Child Trends, 2012)

  • Fairchild, R. McLaughlin, B. & Brady, J. (2006). Making the Most of Summer: A Handbook on Effective Summer Programming and Thematic Learning." Baltimore, MD: Center for Summer Learning.

  • Making Summer Count: how summer programs can boost children’s learning (Rand Corporation, 2011)

  • National Association for Year-Round Education (

  • Stop Summer Academic Loss An Education Policy Priority (Meta Metrics)

  • What Does Summer Learning Loss look like

  • What Research says About Year-Round School (Educational Leadership, April 2010)

  • Working Group on Alternative Calendars (A report to Minnesota legislature,1998)

  • Year-Round Education Program Guide (

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