December 14, 2015
In September 2015, a Calendar Committee at Valley Christian Schools was formed to establish calendars for the upcoming two school years. This committee reviewed calendars from public, private, and Christian schools in our area. As you can imagine, a considerable amount of thought and discussion from various perspectives was placed into this task. The process was concluded in early December with the establishment of the 2016-17 and 2017-18 calendars shown at the bottom of this webpage. We recognize and acknowledge that the 2017-18 start date will be a significantly earlier start for our students, families, faculty, and staff. In light of this change, we felt it critical to provide advance notice of nearly two years. By receiving the calendars and background information now, we hope you can understand the necessity for this change and plan accordingly. Below are some questions you may have and the committee’s answers.
Why are two master calendars being published prior to Christmas 2015?
Over the past few years, VCS has not provided master calendars to our families with adequate advance notice for long-range planning of vacations, family visits, etc. Our goal is to provide two years in advance in order to support long-range planning.
Who was involved in the creation of the master calendars and when did they meet?
The Calendar Committee was comprised of two teachers from each campus, a board member, parent representatives and the Superintendent. They met five times between the months of September-December to review relevant information in the creation of the calendars.
What did the Calendar Committee consider in making their decision?
A variety of factors included, but were not limited to the following:
- A thorough review of calendars from other schools in our area, and Christian and CSI schools in southern California
- Needs of students: academic, activities and athletics
- Alignment of summer program offerings
- CIF sports and activities schedules
What are the compelling reasons for shifting to an earlier start date in 2017-18?
Key reasons include the fact that the majority of California schools are starting before Labor Day: Approximately 82% of them are starting school either one or two weeks prior to Labor Day. Nearly 7% of these schools start the first week of August.
Academic programs and schedules are framed around starting school before Labor Day:
- Summer study programs start in early June. With an earlier start, our students will be more likely to participate in such programs.
- AP exams are scheduled for early May. Our students currently receive two weeks less instruction than many of their peers.
- College and university schedules. The college application/transcript process will be improved.
- The semester will end at Christmas break, providing students with a genuine break from school during the holiday season.
Athletic seasons are being moved earlier by CIF, as seen in their sports seasons through 2028. Of note:
- Fall sports will begin early August, including competition, not just practice.
- Spring sports will begin earlier to assure that all playoffs will be completed prior to Memorial Day.
What are the key changes as a result of the 2017-18 calendar?
Students will obviously feel the impact of starting school earlier in August 2017. The semester will conclude at Christmas, the year will end at Memorial Day and there will be a shortened summer in 2017 and an early start to summer in 2018.
August is hot, how will this impact students?
We are thankful for AC in every classroom at VCS. An adjustment to the calendar could not have been made without AC being in place.
What about PE outdoors during the month of August?
Interestingly enough, September and August average daily temperatures are nearly identical. Certainly VCS students will need to be effectively monitored and hydrated during these months. At the MS, we recognize the need for structures to provide shade, and we are committed to having these structures in place by August 2017.
Links to Master Calendars: You will notice that not all events have been scheduled at this time, but will be filled in as we approach the start of the school year.