Balanced Calendar Overview


 Balanced Calendar Presentation (PDF)

Target Audience:

            All Schools – Elementary, Middle & High School


Balanced calendars are calendars in which the typical summer vacation of twelve weeks is reduced to eight weeks or less. Breaks (typically called intercessions) of two week or longer breaks are given to students in the fall, winter break (around the holidays) and a two week break (or longer) is given in the spring. The students will continue to have the same number of instructional days but the calendar will more evenly distribute a full year of instruction across 10 or 11 months instead of the normal 9 months of the traditional school calendar.


Program Goals:

The goal is to reduce the instructional down time of the 12-week summer vacation for students that has been linked to academic regression typically called summer learning loss or summer slide. Through use of a Balanced Calendar approach, we seek to provide a full year of academic instruction through a more evenly distributed approach than the 9 month instructional concentration of a traditional calendar. 

Balanced Calendar Options:

A.   The intercessions are generally scheduled with either two or three weeks in the fall, winter and spring and often end sometime in June like traditional calendars. These calendars can be broken up into instructional quarters or trimesters. Ultimately, districts must consider their own local dynamics that may impact the school start, breaks, and end of the school year.
B.     Intercessions (breaks) can be used as down time for schools like summer breaks, winter break and spring break.
C.     Intercessions can also be utilized as time for non-traditional enrichment opportunities like Science Camps, Sports Camps, Arts Camps, etc. or instructional remediation programs.


Additional Considerations:

1.)    Upgrades to heating/cooling system (country schools).
2.)    Cost of early summer cooling vs. reduced heating/cooling costs during intercessions.
3.)    Possible costs if intercessions are used for enrichments/remedial opportunities.
4.)    Impact on Athletics, Extra-Curricular, Career Trades Programming, etc.
5.)    Impact on Family Schedules (tradeoff for shorter summers vs. fall break and longer spring break).
6.)    Employment opportunities for high school students.
7.)    Impact on employee contracts.


Sample Calendars for SJPS

Sample Calendar #1

Sample Calendar #2

Sample Calendar #3 


Articles of Information 

 Year Round School - Research Brief

Year Round vs. Traditional School


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