Note: Read on for a deeper explanation about the development of the 2024-25 school year calendar that goes above and beyond the email sent from the district on Nov. 28.
2024-25 Calendar Details
The PSD Board of Education voted Tuesday to approve the district calendar for the 2024-25 school year. It mirrors that of the current school year calendar, with:
- School starting with a Transition Day Aug. 14, 2024, for grades 6 and 9, and classes starting Aug. 15 for all grades K-12,
- A five-day fall break (Nov. 25-29),
- First semester ending Dec. 20, 2024,
- A two-week winter break (Dec. 23-Jan. 3),
- A five-day spring break (March 17-21), and
- School ending May 29, 2025
How are calendars developed?
PSD has a Calendar Committee composed of district staff and parents/guardians. The committee must follow state laws and weigh many competing interests when developing calendar options, which are presented to the PSD Board of Education for approval.
- Districts' calendars must have a minimum of 160 days (1,080 hours in a year) where students are in school receiving instruction to be in compliance with Colorado Department of Education law, and
- To receive state funding, districts must also provide 360 hours of instruction during the first semester of the school year, and
- The Calendar Committee must consider and account for things such as: graduation dates; the implications of ending the first semester after winter break; state athletics and competition schedules that aren’t within PSD’s control; alignment with other large Colorado school districts; employee pay and the negotiated Employee Agreement; schedule adjustments resulting in less instructional time prior to testing; high temperatures in PSD facilities; busing schedules; and more.
- To inform its development of options, the Calendar Committee puts out a districtwide survey. Feedback is considered and implemented where possible, but it’s not always feasible to implement what respondents say they desire.
Your voices: What people had to say as part of this year’s survey
This year, 7,186 people – parents/guardians, students in grades 6-12, and staff – responded to the survey, which is circulated every two years to gather long-term decision-making input. Parents/guardians represented the majority of respondents, and there were 300 secondary students who took the survey.
Results from the 2023 calendar survey indicate that there is a desire for the school year to start later in August or after Labor Day. Making that change for the coming year isn’t possible without severe consequences due to factors outside of PSD’s control.
Why the 2024-25 school year calendar was the only feasible option
One of PSD’s three strategic priorities is Graduate with Options. We want all students to not only graduate with a high school diploma but to do so with multiple options for their futures, whether that means going directly into the workforce, attending a two- or four-year college, joining the military, and more.
More than 3,000 students earn college credits while in high school through PSD’s partnership with Front Range Community College (FRCC) and the district’s concurrent enrollment programs. The Calendar Committee had developed calendar options that had school start later in August or after Labor Day. However, this change meant that FRCC and PSD schedules would no longer align.
PSD staff approached the FRCC team to see if it was possible to accommodate different schedules for PSD students. FRCC said it could not do so because it serves dozens of Colorado school districts and didn’t have the organizational capacity to differentiate its programming for each district. Weighing the pros and cons, PSD staff and the Board of Education ultimately decided that it was unacceptable to remove students’ access to higher education during high school in order to significantly change the 2024-25 school year calendar.
In addition to the impacts to students' access to concurrent enrollment courses, shifting the calendar back would also affect the thousands of students who take AP and International Baccalaureate (IB) exams in the spring. They would receive less instructional time prior to completing these assessments, if school started later in the fall and ended later in the spring.
Staff will continue working to remove barriers to make more desirable calendar options possible in the future. The hope is that a later start may be achieved for the 2025-26 school year.