FRAMINGHAM – The Framingham School Committee unanimously approved the 2023-2024 school calendar, at a meeting earlier this month.
After receiving feedback from parents, staff, teachers, and District 3 School Committee member Jenn Moshe Framingham Public School Superintendent Bob Tremblay said he will eliminate a plan to have late start days for the 2023-24 school year.
Tremblay said due to the busing situation in the district, the school day would start late, and could be even later for some kids, due to late buses, that they may decide not to show up at all on these late start days.
Under the late start proposal, some students would not even start school until as late as 11:15 a.m., if the NRT bus arrived on time.
The first day of school is August 30 for students in grades 1-12.
BLOCKS and kindergarten students will have their first day on September 6.
New in 2023-24 is a “PreK & Kindergarten Professional Development (PD) Day and kindergarten screening days.
Under the proposal, “on September 5, 2023, Preschool and Kindergarten teachers will receive specific professional development that is geared toward the practices and strategies that support our youngest learners. This time will also allow for collaborative planning across schools to strengthen our Tier I practices for all students.”
Kindergarten screen days are August 30, August 31 and September 1, 2023.
In previous years, “kindergarten screening was completed over the course of the fall using retired educators and student screenings often extended well into the late fall/early winter and often did not allow the district to meet expected Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) deadlines. This proposed calendar is directly responsive to Kindergarten staff feedback, will ensure compliance with DESE screening deadline expectations, and will afford classroom educators the opportunity to assess their own students and establish positive relationships prior to the f irst day of school for students,” wrote Supt. Tremblay in a memo to the School Committee.
“The Central Office Team will be working with elementary school administrators and Kindergarten staff on the scheduling logistics and will work with families to ensure that transportation is provided to students and their caregiver(s), as needed, to support equitable access to school-based Kindergarten screenings with classroom teachers,” wrote Tremblay to the School Committee after feedback on the initial proposal.
Also new to the 2023-34 calendar, is a staff appreciation day the day before Thanksgiving, which means a longer holiday break for families.
“While the FPS calendar has not, in recent years, afforded staff the day prior to the Thanksgiving holiday as a no-school day, the effort this year is to provide an additional day off for staff in an expression of appreciation and as an effort to boost morale across the district. This does not change the 180-school day requirement or other negotiated terms of any collective bargaining agreements, but it is an area of mutual agreement by district and union leadership across all bargaining units since this effort would be extraordinarily well-received by FPS staff and likely families in our community,” wrote Supt. Tremblay to the 9 elected School Committee members in a memo before the vote.
The calendar also calls for delayed starts at Framingham High for testing. (This actually will start this spring.)
“Framingham High School (FHS) is requesting a delayed start eight times during the second semester of the 2023–2024 school year to accommodate both MCAS/ACCESS testing. Because FHS is testing between 650 to 750 students at a time on these required assessments, it requires a significant amount of staff support to accommodate the needs of students. All staff members will be asked to assist in proctoring full classrooms or small group testing classrooms. It also allows FHS to ensure ideal test environments for all of our learners which we hope will also lead to improved results on standardized test performance. On these days breakfast will be served for students who are taking the assigned assessments and lunch will be served for all students,” wrote Supt. Tremblay.
and while the calendar does not some holiday, there is a new “The “supplemental calendar outlining religious, cultural, or days of appreciation that are typically observed remains… This remains an iterative document for our working group of school department, community, and faith leaders to continually revise and update so that the Framingham community is appropriately recognized and celebrated. Identified “no school” days on the primary calendar now have an accompanying reason provided,” wrote the Framingham Public School District Superintendent.
There was an adjustment made to the calendar between the first draft and the vote on February 15 by the 9-member Framingham School Committee, in regards to election days.
“The scheduled April 11, 2024 staff professional development day has been moved to March 5, 2024 as the dedicated Framingham Teachers Association (FTA) Professional Development Day. The district will house professional development at non-voting school sites in consideration of the Presidential Primary election, as requested by the City Clerk given the anticipated extraordinarily high voter turnout,” wrote Tremblay.
However, school and classes will happen on City election days schedule in September and November 2023.
“FPS will work closely with the City Clerk’s Office to ensure the September 19, 2023 City Preliminary Election and the November 7, 2023 City Election can happen smoothly with school in session on those two dates,” wrote Supt. Tremblay.
Graduation for the Class of 2024 Friday, June 7, 2024 “with ample time for the total ceremony to take place prior to sunset,” to deal with religious concerns of the sabbath.