You may know that the NMUSD calendar will be changing for the 2020/2021 school year. But do you know how it came to be?

The idea was first put forth by the administration. Then it went to negotiations with the Newport-Mesa Federation of Teachers (NMFT), this is the teachers’ union for the teachers in the NMUSD district. According to Mr. Hancock, the Journalism teacher at Costa Mesa High School, “A union is a group of employees that negotiate as a group.”

The NMFT was opposed to the change, however not all the teachers were against it.

Some of the arguments for it were:

  1. Most school districts are already on the “collegiate calendar.” This makes it hard for teachers who have kids in other school districts because their breaks are at different times.
  2. Instead of having a two week break, have school for two weeks, then have finals week, finals week will be the week before winter break.
  3. The students in AP classes will have more time to prepare before the AP tests. Because the AP test happens on the same day for everyone across the country, schools that start three weeks earlier have three weeks more time in class before the test.
  4. It will align the district calendar with the CIF sports, cheer, ASB, and band competition schedules.

Some of the arguments against it were:

  1. The research shows that there’s no difference between the tests scores of AP tests and statewide testing between those who start two, three, and four weeks early and those who don’t.
  2. The semesters will be uneven, the first semester will become 79 days while the second semester will be 101 days. If you have a one-semester class, the students who have second semester will have more instruction in it than students in the first semester class.
  3. College start dates are all over, there are some that start late in September and others that start earlier, they’re not all the same. Also, getting out the third week of June has no effect on students being accepted into colleges.

“It shows no increase in learning,” says CMHS teacher Mr. Piazza.

In a survey, most students, parents, and staff said they wanted the calendar to stay the same, but the idea went forward regardless.

The school board voted on the new calendar Wednesday, February 12 and it was approved. The new calendar for the 2020-2021 school year was posted the same night.

The first day of school will be on August 24, 2020, and the last day of school for middle and high schools will be on June 10, 2021. Elementary schools will get out the next day, June 11th.

This means that the summer before the 2020-2021 school year will be 2 weeks shorter. However, since Labor Day will be very late in 2020, only one week will really be lost.

First semester finals will be the week before Winter Break and the second semester finals will be the second week of June.


Photo credits: Daniel Longhorne