The school district calendar should remain the same, according to more than 3,800 people polled on the subject.
Reportedly 3,865 Newport-Mesa Unified School District students, parents, teachers, administrators, staff and community members participated in the online survey between April 19 and May 9, according to an announcement from the district.
The survey asked the “big question” of whether or not the district should start the school year earlier.
The majority voted to keep the status quo and continue to start the academic year the day after Labor Day.
Survey participants were given four options and asked to rank them in order of preference.
The status quo option was the most popular, with 1550 people ranking it as their first choice. That same option also had 1,157 people ranking it as their fourth choice. A few hundred ranked it as their second and third choice.
Option two considered starting school two instructional days early and extending Thanksgiving break to an entire week. It was the overall second most popular choice.
The other options, in order of overall popularity, included beginning school five instructional days earlier so that school can also end earlier or starting school one week earlier to extend Thanksgiving into a weeklong break and end school two instructional days earlier.
The majority of the poll participants, about 40, said they strongly support a change to the school calendar. About 28 percent said they gave no support, 20 percent voted to mostly support, and 13 percent had little support for any change to the calendar.
Most people had concerns that a change might interfere with family plans for Labor Day and that some options shortened summer vacation. Other concerns included that a change could add too many vacation days, it’s a change from tradition, there is not enough information and more.
The survey sought input for the 2015-16 school year and later. The 2014-15 school calendar is already approved and was not part of the survey.
“NMUSD’s school calendar is developed after receiving feedback from various stakeholder groups through a Calendar Committee representing students, parents, teachers, administrators, and staff from various NMUSD departments including assessment, transportation, human resources and nutrition services,” a press release from the district explains. “In addition to this feedback, the draft calendar is based on California Education Code, recommendations from the Orange County Department of Education and traditional NMUSD practices.”
Now, district officials will evaluate the survey responses and negotiate with employee unions.
The district hopes to have a negotiated draft calendar to present to the Board of Education for adoption on June 24.
For more information and to view the survey results, visit web.nmusd.us.