About the Balanced Calendar

  • In an effort to assist in communicating information regarding a proposed Balanced Calendar to students, teachers, parents and other key stakeholders in our school community, attached are several pieces of information that will provide details on the proposed initiative. Additionally, we have posted a VoiceThread for additional explanation on the initiative.

Balanced Calendar Information

  • What is a balanced calendar?
    • Reorganizes the school year to provide more continuous learning.
    • Reduces the long summer break and apportions those days throughout the school year, meaning more frequent breaks, but shorter in duration.
    Initial public discussions regarding a balanced calendar began years ago.
    • Balanced calendar discussions first began in November 2011 when Fulton High School and Austin-East Magnet High School approached the Knox County Board of Education with the idea of incorporating a balanced calendar into their schools. The goal was to provide intervention opportunities in schools were we have a significant number of students who struggle academically.
    Why is this important?
    • Potentially increases instructional time by providing opportunities for intervention and enrichment throughout the school year (rather than only during summer break)
    • Can help prevent summer learning loss
    • May improve attendance and reduce discipline
    • Teachers have the opportunity to earn additional compensation
    • Additional professional development opportunities
    • Through our strategic plan insight sessions,stakeholders mentioned a balanced calendar 50 times as something they would like to see in the future. Changes in scheduling were mentioned 170 times.
    • 55% of teachers strongly agree or agree that the district should implement a balanced calendar(Teacher Survey results, December 2013)
    • District Advisory Council members were generally favorable toward the idea of a balanced calendar
    The Knox County Schools’ academic calendar is currently set through the 2015-16 school year and approved by the Knox County Board of Education. Any changes to the school calendar must be voted and approved by the Board of Education. The soonest a balanced calendar could take effect (if approved by the Board of Education) is the 2016-17 school year.
    Any move to a balanced calendar would require significant stakeholder input that includes teachers, staff, parents, students and community organizations.
    Surrounding school systems that use a balanced calendar: Maryville City Schools, Alcoa City Schools, Oak Ridge City Schools (beginning in 2015-16), Emerald Academy (Knox County Charter School, beginning in 2015-16).
    For more information or questions, please email balancedcalendar@knoxschools.org

Balanced Calendar Voice Thread