Although summer break has not begun at Washougal Schools, thoughts are already going to the District’s 2018-19 school year and several schedule changes.
The first day of school for all Washougal schools will be Tuesday, August 28, 2018, which falls before the Labor Day holiday weekend. With Labor Day moving around in the calendar from year to year, when it falls very early in September, the district usually starts after Labor Day. When it falls very late in the first week of September, the start is before Labor Day. In the past ten years, WSD has started school before Labor Day four times.
This earlier than usual start will be seen at many Clark County schools, although Camas School District will be starting late to accommodate a construction schedule and will remain in session later into June 2019. WSD gathers feedback from staff associations and groups to provide guidance on when to place the first day of school, which is something the WSD Board decides and sets each year.
Another notable change for K-5 classroom schedules for the 2018-2019 school year is the early release on Wednesday will be just 40 minutes, reduced from the two-hour early release currently in place. This change will provide approximately 70 hours of additional instructional time for elementary students. It is made possible by hiring additional teacher specialist in art, music, PE and reading. Teacher prep time will now be during the day when specialists are providing instruction to students. The 40-minute early-release on Wednesdays will be at all Washougal schools.
This change at the elementary schools provides the equivalent of three extra school weeks and nearly 8 percent more classroom time with teachers for students. The change will also allow students to have a consistent daily routine, and more consistent schedules for families.
In bringing this benefit to students, there are minimal impacts for teachers. While the makeup of their daily schedule will be a little different, they will continue to have the same start and end time for their work day, they will continue to have 40 minutes of dedicated time on Wednesday afternoons to meet as Professional Learning Communities, and they will have the same amount of planning time (270 minutes) each week.
Individual WSD schools will publicize the new calendar, start times, and other important information for students and families as the end of the school year approaches. WSD will also publish their one-stop back-to-school page in the coming weeks. http://www.washougal.k12.wa.us/