New Calendar Brings More School and Less Vacation

Due to the snow this year, two full school days have been added to the current calendar, in addition to adjustments made for the following school years. The Portland Public School Board voted March 31 on a new calendar. The vote approved a school year which, for the first time in PPS history, will begin before Labor Day in 2015.


One of the most controversial changes in the new calendar is the adjustment of the first and last days of the school. The added snow days this year moved the final day of the year to June 13. June 12 and 13 were originally designated teacher planning days but will now be full school days. Final exams will be on June 11, 12 and 13 and Monday and Tuesday will be A and B days.


In 2015, school will begin on Sept. 2, a day after Labor Day and end on June 11. In 2016, school will begin on Aug. 27, the earliest it has ever begun, and end on June 7. Many students are disappointed with the schedule changes. “It’s gonna be really hot in here. Everyone’s gonna be miserable,” said sophomore Sofia Cunin. “It sucks.” Others agree. Said freshman Keauma Cobb, “August is a time where you’re out of town or at camps. It’s gonna be really warm, so it’s sad to think about being at school during that time.” Some students, however, welcome the change because school will end slightly earlier than usual. “I like it,” said freshman Brandon Rusnak. “We’re gonna get off earlier, which is good.”


Significant changes will also take place in the 2014-15 and 2015-16 school years. Two instructional days have been added along with three new teacher planning days, and Thanksgiving Break in its current form will be eliminated. Instead of the accustomed week off, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday will be full school days , leaving only two days with no school. Freshman Laura Epperson said of the adjustment, “it makes me sad. I want a full week to rest my brain.” Many students agree that a full week, rather than scattered days off, would be more relaxing. Said Cobb, “I like having a week because you have more time to hang out with your family and you don’t have to be rushed. I hate the change.” The parent teachers conferences usually conducted during Thanksgiving week will also be moved to Oct. 29-31 next year and Oct. 21-23 the year after.