Lee students could have a 7-week summer vacation, according to next year’s school calendar

Pamela McCabe
 
| Fort Myers News-Press

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Caloosa Elementary Kindergarten students tour their school

Kindergarten students and their family members were able to attend Caloosa Elementary in Cape Coral, Thursday, August 27, 2020, to a meet-the-teacher open house. The event was meant to help get the youngest learners ready for their first day of school.

Is it too soon to start talking about summer vacation? Didn’t think so.

Students in Lee County are looking at about seven weeks of summer vacation if the school board signs off on the proposed 2021-22 school year calendar during its meeting Tuesday.

This year, school ends on June 17, with the first day of school in 2022 proposed for Aug. 10. Teachers would report a week earlier, giving them a six-week summer break.

The calendar is created by a committee of parents, community members, teachers, support staff and principals who figure out how holidays, breaks and state-mandated instructional hours fit into Lee County’s 180-day public school year.

More: Lee school board approves Aug. 31 as new start date

There are three mini-vacations proposed in the school calendar: Thanksgiving, winter and spring break.

  • Thanksgiving break will be Nov. 22-26. School will resume Nov. 29.
     
  • Winter break will be Dec. 20-Dec. 31. School will resume Jan. 3, 2022, but the calendar says the first week back in school will be used as an exam week for the end of the first semester of school.
     
  • Spring break is set for March 21-25, 2022, with school resuming March 28.

A four-day weekend for Easter is also planned, with schools closed April 15-18, 2022.

Four holidays will be wrapped into three-day weekends: Labor Day (Sept. 6), Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Jan. 17), President’s Day (Feb. 21) and Memorial Day (May 30).

Schools will also be closed for Yom Kippur on Sept. 16, which is a Thursday.

Four professional duty days are on the calendar. These are days when teachers clock in-service hours, while kids stay home. The dates are Oct. 15, Jan. 11, March 18 and June 3.

Three hurricane makeup days are planned in the calendar:

  • Nov. 11 (Veterans Day)
  • Jan. 10 (after the first semester exam week ends)
  • Feb. 18 (the Friday before the President’s Day holiday). 

These dates serve as place-holders in the calendar in cases of a weather-related closure, like those due to hurricanes or tropical storms, that require schools to be closed.

Historically, the district will use the dates closest to the storm day to fill in any missed hours from school. If schools aren’t cancelled due to storms, the students and employees get the day off.

It should be noted that the exam week after winter break is immediately followed with two possible days off for students, thanks to Jan. 10 being established as a hurricane makeup day and Jan.11 listed as a teacher-training day.

The Feb. 18 hurricane day falls on a Friday, too. If the day is unused, it would make for a four-day weekend for staff and students because the following Monday is President’s Day.

Finally, early dismissal days are planned for Dec. 17, May 31 and June 1-2.

More: Lee school board incumbents hold onto their seats in 2020 election

More: Lee schools asked students with poor grades, class no-shows to return to in-person learning

The calendar will be voted on as part of the board’s consent agenda Tuesday. The meeting will take place at 6 p.m. in the Lee County Public Education Center, 2855 Colonial Blvd., Fort Myers.

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