School Calendar Comparisons
The following charts compare the distribution of days in school and days on break on the nine-month traditional calendar vs. the distribution of school days on a balanced or modified calendar. Weekends are excluded form the charts, with both models detailing a typical year of 258 work days (Monday through Friday). Both charts represent a standard school year of 180 days.
The traditional calendar features a long summer vacation of 12 weeks followed by a long period of in-session days, with the first break coming at Thanksgiving. The winter holidays are followed by 55 in-session days before a short spring break. Spring break is followed by 40 work days before the end of the school year.
The balanced calendar reduces the long summer break and simply apportions those days throughout the school year, producing more frequent breaks and thus limiting long periods of in-session days, as well as longer vacations. Both calendars feature 180 days of instruction, with the modified calendar balancing the frequency of in-session days with days on break. The winter holiday and Thanksgiving break can be the same on both calendars.
Reprinted with the permission of the National Association for Year-Round Education.
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