Laguna school board to consider earlier school year start and Thanksgiving week vacation


The Laguna Beach Unified Board of Education will consider revisions Thursday to the 2019-20 instructional calendar, including an earlier first day of school and closing campuses the entire week of Thanksgiving.

These and other calendar tweaks were proposed by a stakeholder committee that consists of teachers, staff, parents, school administrators and a city official.

Before making their recommendation, committee members considered data on student attendance, athletics, Advanced Placement and state testing, traffic patterns, city summer employment and past instructional years.


“After identifying priorities based on student needs, the committee reviewed and evaluated various sample student instructional year configurations and developed a recommendation that best addresses the needs of the current student population,” said Leisa Winston, assistant superintendent of human resources and public communications.

Here’s a breakdown of the proposed changes to Laguna Beach schools’ instructional calendar:

  • Students would not attend school the full week of Thanksgiving. Currently, students attend only Monday and Tuesday of this week.
  • Students would start the school year about one to one and a half weeks earlier and end one week earlier.
  • The first semester would end at winter break in December; it currently ends at the end of January.
  • No homework would be assigned during the winter break to allow students uninterrupted holiday time with family.
  • Elementary and secondary non-student days would be aligned so all students — often an issue for families with siblings at different school levels — have the same days off.
  • Two additional non-student days would total three, which individually fall in October, January and March. Currently there is a single non-student day in January.
  • The proposed school year is designed with 180 school days instead of the current 181.

The school board will hold a study session on these changes at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday at the district office, 550 Blumont St.

Daniel Langhorne is a contributor to Times Community News.

Twitter: @DanielLanghorne