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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
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 (