.

Proposed 2013-2014 Stoughton Public Schools Calendar Approved by School Committee

The Stoughton School Committee approved a calendar for the 2013-2014 school year at their Tuesday meeting, setting the start and end dates, as well as vacation dates. Early release dates and first day of school for kindergarten still needs to be added.

With about five months left this school year, the Stoughton School Committee and school administrators already started looking ahead to next year's school calendar.

The School Committee approved on a 4-1 vote a preliminary calendar for the 2013-2014 school year, which has school starting after Labor Day and ending a week before July 4th if all snow days are used.

The calendar has students in grades 1-12 returning to school Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2013. Teachers and Unit A staff return the day before, Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2013. Labor Day is Monday, Sept. 2.

After students in grades 1-12 return that Wednesday they have the next two days off (Sept. 5-6) for Rosh Hashanah and then have two more days off for the weekend (Sept. 7-8) before coming back Monday, Sept. 9.

School Committee member George Dolinsky cast the lone vote against the proposed calendar because he was not in favor of the students having four days off between the first and second days of school. However, other members of the committee, while sharing the same concerns, did not want school to start on Sept. 9, and Superintendent of Schools Dr. Marguerite Rizzi said school could not start before Labor Day because the teachers' contract does not allow for a pre-September start to the school year.

Dr. Rizzi also said school administration opted for a longer winter vacation, starting Saturday, Dec. 21, 2013 rather than send the students back for one day on Monday, Dec. 23, 2013, with vacation starting Christmas Eve. Doing so saves the school from heating the building for a day she said would likely be a "low enrollment day."

The last day of school, including the five built in snow days, would be Friday, June 27, 2014. The last day without the snow days would be Friday, June 20, 2014.

The anticipated graduation date for the Stoughton High Class of 2014 (this year's juniors) is Thursday, June 5, 2014.

Some key dates were not discussed and still need to be plugged into the calendar, namely early release days and the first day of kindergarten.

Take a look at the calendar in the media gallery above. A list of significant dates and vacations are below ():

2013

  • Sept. 3 - School Opens for Unit A  Pre-K-12 (Full Day)
  • Sept. 4 - School Opens for all Students Gr. 1-12 (Full Day)
  • Sept. 5 & 6 - Rosh Hashanah - No School
  • Sept. TBD - First Day for Kindergarten
  • Oct. 14 - Columbus Day - No School
  • Nov. 5 - Election/Professional Development Day - No School
  • Nov. 11 - Veterans Day  - No School
  • Nov. 27 - Early Dismissal - Gr. 6-12 at 11:00 - K-5 at 11:45
  • Nov. 28 & 29 - Thanksgiving Break - No School

2014

  • Jan. 20 - Martin Luther King, Jr. Day - No School
  • April 18 - Good Friday - No School
  • May 26 - Memorial Day - No School
  • June 5 - Stoughton High Graduation (anticipated date)
  • June 20 - Last Day (180 student days)
  • June 27 - Last Day (5 snow days)

Vacations

  • Winter: Saturday, December 21, 2013 – Wednesday, January 1, 2014 (school reopens Thursday, January 2, 2014)
  • February: Saturday, February 15, 2014 – Sunday, February 23, 2014 (school reopens Monday, February 24, 2014)
  • April: Friday, April 18, 2014 (Good Friday) – Sunday, April 27, 2014 (school reopens Monday, April 28, 2014)

Early Release Days

TBD
lowertaxes January 23, 2013 at 10:03 PM
This school calender is horrible. Having the kids go back to school for one Wednesday and then giving them four days off until they have their second day of school. What is the point of this? They would be better off going back the 9th (or better yet the last week of August but I know, I know, contracts). And do the kids not have enough time off for December break without throwing that extra day in on December 23rd? Pathetic!
Just Saying January 23, 2013 at 11:27 PM
I would prefer that they begin the school year the last week of August.
Fiscal Conservative January 24, 2013 at 12:05 AM
Where my granddaughter goes to school (in the mid west) school begins in late August, have class on most holidays except Thanksgiving, Christmas, MLK Day (professional day for teacher) and Memorial Day. No snow days...out of school 1st week of June. Personally, I would like to see school begin 2 days earlier & end 2 days later. Reason. During Jan to mid Feb have 4 day weeks (snow day would fill in the lost day the same week). By doing this, buildings could shut the heat to a lower setting to conserve fuel costs. It's now time for school districts to "think outside the box" to save valuable financial resources. BOTH the SC and teacher's union should work in conjunction to best utilize the funds taxpayers allocate them. Wouldn't it be refreshing to see both sides working for the betterment of the students? My thoughts may be wrong for the community, but, can't a better calendar be worked out than the one that gives the students 2 days off after only one day in school. Think about it...it really is foolish.
Melinda Rosenberg January 24, 2013 at 01:02 AM
This is crazy. It is time to realize what year it is. More and more school districts are starting school before Labor Day. Enough with Rizzi and her contracts. It is time to clean house. There are enough days off and half days. Many schools do not close for the Election Day. Maybe we should only close for the first day of Rosh Hashanah. By the way, we are Jewish. And there are some families, maybe the minority in this pathetic town, whose kids go away for the summer. Closing school so late in June just means they will not be attending those classes since we have paid for them to be away at camp. Stoughton used to start before Labor Day. It may have been for one a few years, but we seemed to be getting out of the dark ages. Now Rizzi and most of the school committee have put us back there. Maybe they should take a hard look at surrounding towns. And restructure they way things are being done in this town.
lowertaxes January 24, 2013 at 01:55 AM
Well said Melinda!!!! Too bad that they don't care what us parents think about ANYTHING when it comes to our kids education.
DJ January 24, 2013 at 03:40 PM
I agree with most of what you wrote Melinda, but I take issue with your position that summer camps comes before school. Late schools years have been pretty regular given snow days over the years and so booking a camp knowing it could be within the school year is irresponsible. You can't expect your children to take school seriously if you don't. Putting sports and extra curricular activities before school is wrong.
Fiscal Conservative January 24, 2013 at 04:43 PM
DJ: Lots of parents don't care when THEY remove their kids from school. Just look at all the times that kids are out of school during the winter so parents can take them to Disneyworld, on a cruise, etc. Not only do they take the kids out of school, many TELL teachers they want their kids schoolwork to do while on vacation so they don't fall behind. Then it never gets done, so teachers have to do it again, when the kids come back to school. Many schools now refuse to give work and make the kids do it on "recess" or afterschool.
Vicki January 24, 2013 at 07:48 PM
Go to school for one day is just plain stupid. I can see the extra days at Christmas and April vacation but not starting before Labor Day needs to end. There has been years my son, who graduated in 2009, had at least one year that started BEFORE Labor Day. Dr. Rizzi doesn't want to start before Labor Day because she doesn't want to start. Ask any teacher and I bet they would rather start before Labor Day or on September 9th.
Gail January 25, 2013 at 12:10 AM
I agree with what you wrote Melinda. But I think some are making unjustified assumptions. My children also go away for the summer. And it is an experience that I would never deny them. But I want to make something very clear. My children have consistent perfect attendance records. And they are high honors students taking honors classes. School is definitely a priority. And their records confirm that. We could mot be prouder of their accomplishments. And they take school very seriously, as do we as their parents. It is their grades that will get them into great schools. And they maintain their grades while participating in extra curricular activities. So there may be some parents who fall into the categories that you describe, but you are wrong to lump all that way. Now back to the topic at hand. It makes so much more sense to start school before Labor Day. Then we offset all of the extra days that we keep closing school for. And we can't anticipate what the winter will bring so isn't it better to be prepared in case we need to use snow days??!! Vacations weeks are getting insanely longer and the people making these decisions are not thinking of the students. Sharon Public Schools have has students, parents and staff fill out surveys regarding situations like this. Maybe it is time to let the people these decisions actually impact have a say.
michd January 25, 2013 at 04:13 AM
I actually think it's a great way to start the year off. We all know that the first week of school is a waste because by the time the students get their schedules, find their classes etc, it takes time. This way, having that one day, it allows the students to obtain their schedules, get their locker assigned and their school supply lists. By the time the students return to school, they'll already have their schedule, supplies and will be ready to officially start school. Sorry, I don't agree with Melinda (and yes I am Jewish too). Absolutely both days of Rosh Hashanah should be taken off, that's OUR holiday A holiday in which we attend synagogue, spend quality family time and a time to reflect. It is the start of a special time of year for US.
melinda January 25, 2013 at 07:08 PM
DJ and Fiscal Conservative- I think you are making assumptions without knowing anything about me or my family. First of all, school is not only a priority from a parental stand point, but my children take their education very seriously. So here is some background to clarify our dynamics. Our children have consistently perfect attendance records, they are consistently high honors students taking all honors classes. And maintaining these grades while participating in extra curricular activities. Grades come first and that is why they will get into great schools. Couldn't be prouder in their accomplishments. And their summers away at camp, we wouldn't change a thing. They have developed friendships that will last a lifetime. As will the memories and experiences. As far as the calendar, it is time to get out of the dark ages. Starting school before Labor Day would offset all the extra days off. It would also serve as an early adjustment for any potential snow days. Nobody knows what the winter will bring, so why not be proactive about it. Check your local towns. A majority have moved forward to starting early. And some even survey parents, students and staff. Maybe those who it also impacts should be involved as well. Michelle- as far as the Jewish holidays, towns are starting to adjust for those as well. Easton has changed their calendar and even Newton has only been closed for the first day for years.
Fiscal Conservative January 25, 2013 at 09:02 PM
melinda: I just checked my previous remarks, nothing about you. Remarks were made from personal experiences with my children throughout their school years. I firmly believe that a school calendar needs to be adjusted to modern times. The calendar in use is outdated. In Stougton, school cannot start before Sept 1 w/o teacher's OK. the number of school days off because of various reasons is far too many. You know the old saying "separation of church and state (not in Constitution by the way). If that wee true, schools wouldn't rearrange the calendar to "accomodate" religious days (never had those days off when I went to school). So, the SC develops a calendar where by students & teachers suffer in an overheated, humid classroom in June where no learning can take place (its OK to do this because Administration, Guidance, Prinicipals all have A/C). School through June is a joke. If, correct, attendence ceases to be counted around June 1, little or nothing is accomplished accept concerts, Field days, I also bet a large number of teacher "sick days" are june the last 5 - 6 weeks of school.
melinda January 26, 2013 at 02:07 PM
Fiscal Conservative: I completely agree with you on some of your comments. June tends to be a huge waste of time. I can't tell you how many times my kids would come home and tell me they watched movies, cleaned the room or some other non productive activity. And you are right. Days filled with concerts, field days... As far as the contracts, well it is time to re write them. Those same contracts that were rewritten to not start before Labor Day also prohibit them from working in July. Alter them! Start earlier, end earlier. When we were kids here, we did not go to school to late in June.
Jill February 28, 2013 at 04:55 PM
Why do parents not have a say in the school calendar? The administration and the teachers union seem to make assumptions for us. Wouldn't we all like more paid days off, but welcome to the real world. As if kids don't already have enough days off, we are adding more to Winter break, but still keeping February AND April vacation. September is already a joke in Stoughton with all the Jewish days off. Maybe a survey of just how many Jewish families are in Stoughton and are impacted vs those that aren't would be a good start. Seems a bit unfair that losing a week of school for "religious" days off that equal less than 1/4 of Stoughton is a joke. These days off effect working parents more than anyone yet we have no say as to what the administration feels they need/ deserve. Wake up Stoughton you are a joke.
Fiscal Conservative February 28, 2013 at 09:15 PM
Jill: Teachers DO NOT have paid days off, plain and simple. They are paid by their contract, in Stoughton around 182 days. All days off, as I like to call them, are "UNPAID leaves of absence". If a teacher calls in sick and is found "on the golf course" that day, they may be docked for 1/182 of their pay, not roughly 240 days that others work. Also, Summer vacation...many spend their "off time" in class, working to better themselves, at THEIR OWN EXPENSE (courses aren't cheap any longer). Yes, it would be great to have parent input when establishing the school calendar. Unfortunately, you are not part of the "working agreement" between teachers and administration. Your only role in the school calendar is to "fund" the school department through your property taxes. If you don't like the calendar, vote the budget down at town meeting and tell them to bring a new budget with an 'Updated" calendar. Bet it will get the attention of both sides real quick!!!

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something