Join state and local leaders on May 19 from 10–11 am to learn about the grant funding, hear from district leaders about implementation, as well as from national experts. This information session is intended for district leaders interested in applying for new and continuing grants. Register for the Balanced Calendar Information session today!
In Washington state, a traditional school year lasts 180 days. Students have a few short breaks along the way and a long break in the summer. Instead of concentrating 180 school days into nine months, a balanced calendar spreads them throughout the year. Schools may use the breaks to host “intersessions,” where they can provide additional learning experiences if needed.
Many students experience a loss of learning and continuity during the extended (summer) break in a traditional calendar. Balanced calendar modifies the traditional 180-day calendar to keep the learning process continuous, while still ensuring all students receive 180 days of instruction. This may lead to less review time at the beginning of the school year and more instructional time for all students. See the Balanced Calendar Q&A for more information.
Balanced Calendar Grant Funding
Through the Balanced Calendar Initiative, OSPI is supporting school districts to explore pathways for increasing student learning opportunities and shrinking learning loss by balancing or modifying school year calendars. Local education agencies may apply for grant funding during the 2021–22 and 2022–23 school years to study this approach.
In addition to the funding, OSPI and other partners are providing job-alike sessions, regional meetings, and other activities to support school districts with implementation of the work.
The purpose of the grant is to provide school districts with the opportunity to study this approach and decide if it is something they would like to pursue. If districts go through the study phase, they are not required to modify their school year calendars.
To date, grant funding has been awarded to the following school districts across Washington:
- Benge School District
- Candy Mountain Academy
- Cashmere School District
- Columbia School District (Walla Walla)
- Crescent School District
- Elma School District
- Finley School District
- Highland School District
- Kittitas School District
- Lopez Island School District
- Mount Adams School District
- Mount Vernon School District
- North Mason School District
- North Thurston School District
- Oakville School District
- Olympia School District
- Rainier Valley Leadership Academy
- Selah School District
- Soap Lake School District
- Thorp School District
- Toppenish School District
- Union Gap School District
- Vancouver School District
- Wahluke School District
- Winlock School District
- Yakima School District
Background & Resources
OSPI is partnering with several K–12 statewide organizations to support local education agencies interested in exploring modifying their school year calendars. The Association of Educational Service Districts (AESD Network), a key partner, provides hands-on support and technical assistance to grantee districts to support networking and learning together across school district and regional boundaries.
Other partners include the Association of Washington School Principals, the Washington Association of School Administrators, the Washington State School Directors’ Association, and the Washington Education Association.