Providence 2015-16 school calendar includes shortened February break

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — After seeking input from parents, students, teachers and staff, the Providence School Board has crafted and approved the district’s calendar for next year.

The district received nearly 4,500 survey responses through a combination of phone calls and online questionnaires.

“We were actually somewhat surprised that when the survey results came back, our parents and families overwhelmingly supported either shortening or eliminating it. Staff was a little less strong, fairly in favor of it, so what we did was sort of a middle ground,” said Christina O’Reilly, Director of Communication for Providence Schools. “Rather than eliminate it entirely, we kept it during the week of the President’s Day holiday.”

The 2015-16 school year will begin Wednesday, Sept. 2. Providence schools normally start in late August, but the majority of students and parents surveyed preferred a September start, according to the district.

The biggest change to the calendar is the shortening of February break. Of those surveyed, 72% of parents preferred to shorten or eliminate the vacation, and 61% of teachers agreed. Instead of a full week, schools will be closed just for President’s Day and the next day, making it a three-day school week.

The December holiday break will be two full weeks, while April vacation will remain a full week. Schools will also be closed on Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Good Friday next year.

The last day of school is scheduled for Thursday, June 16, with June 17, 20, and 21 lined up as snow days.

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