Insight

Schools: Publish Your Full Calendar Before the Year Starts

We all remember the days of summer dwindling down, feeling excited and anxious about the new school year. It’s a time to start fresh.

For families, it’s also a time to get organized and prepare for the year ahead. Our EdNavigator families are doing that right now. They want to make sure they’re set up for success. A big part of that is planning ahead for holiday breaks, teacher development days, and report card conferences. For working parents, knowing what’s happening when helps them schedule shifts at work, arrange childcare, and request time off.

There’s just one problem: A significant number of New Orleans schools haven’t yet published their school year calendars. Others have posted the basic holidays and days off, but left out other information parents care about, like testing dates or when parent-teacher conferences happen.

It’s surprising, because schools typically map out their school year schedules well in advance. There are always a few dates in flux, but everything else is fairly predictable. It’s a shame, too, because not having access to the calendar presents one more hassle for families at a time when they’re eager for certainty and predictability. 

It may seem like a small thing, but it matters. Schools want families to be engaged, but how’s a working mom supposed to shift her schedule to attend report card day when she only finds out about it a week in advance? Who’s going to take care of the kids when a note comes home with a reminder that school is closed on Monday? How can parents help their children come to school rested and ready to go during testing times, if they don’t know when those times are?

When schools give parents the tools they need to support their child, everyone wins. As we open this academic year, let’s help our parents plan ahead, making them stronger bases of support for schools. But the ball is in the school’s court. Share the dates!