While preparing for their May advanced placement exams, Glendale Unified students taking AP courses next year will have four fewer instructional days than our AP students have this year. This is because the GUSD removed instructional days in its 2017-18 calendar from the beginning of the year and put those days at the end of the year, after the exam is taken.
This contradicts the whole reason GUSD moved the school start date to before Labor Day. In 2009, GUSD promised parents and teachers that moving the start date to “two Mondays before Labor Day” would provide 10 extra instructional days for our AP students and would not shorten our 11 full weeks of summer. However, while transferring instructional days, the calendar also added 10 new holidays and shortened our summer to nine weeks.
In 2016, after 2,500 teachers and parents signed a petition to “Save Our Summers,” GUSD invited the community to “fix” our calendar. In response to questions asked by GUSD, the community voted to shorten Thanksgiving week and to eliminate “teacher only” days, the Friday before Labor Day and days that made winter break longer than two weeks.
The community voted to limit our holidays to 25, start school on Monday, Aug. 20, 2018, and end the first semester at winter break. Doing this will restore the four instructional days and return to 11 full weeks of summer. Transferring instructional days was never discussed nor approved in any of these meetings.
It is bittersweet that our upcoming summer of 2017 will be longer because these instructional days were transferred. Sadly, unless the 2018-19 calendar reflects the choices of the community, we will return to nine full weeks in the summer of 2018.