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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

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

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

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 (