Pleasanton Unified School District has launched a public survey to garner opinions about how the district could best adjust its instructional calendar.
The survey, launched Dec. 11, will be open to teachers, school staff, parents and students grades 8-12 until Jan. 4.
The results from the survey will be used by Pleasanton's school board and staff to decide what changes community members would like to see in the district's calendar, as well as to evaluate whether the community wants a change at all.
Answers from the survey will be collected and analyzed in time for the next school board meeting on Jan. 12.
The survey itself casts a wide lens on the issue, asking stakeholders whether they support certain changes -- such as altering the amount of time off in summer -- but not limiting how many options they can select for changes.
One change that some stakeholders had advocated for is a schedule that allows the first semester to end before the winter holiday break, allowing high school students to take exams before the break. One question in the survey addresses this issue, asking whether such a calendar would provide certain benefits to families, teachers and staff.
The survey also addresses stakeholders' concerns, asking what drawbacks students would face if the instructional calendar was changed, such as trouble scheduling summer camps, student internships or losing winter break to study for finals or to catch up on end-of-semester work.
The survey has been emailed to students grades 8-12, teachers, classified staff, administrators and parents, and a student or employee ID is required to take the survey. Reminder postcards and phone calls will go out to families, and the survey will be advertised in school-related newsletters and local newspapers, such as the Pleasanton Weekly. It is also available on the school district's website.
The district is emphasizing the survey after an attempt to change the instructional calendar last year caused tension among parents.
The board approved a modified calendar in June 2014 that rescheduled the start of school in 2015 for early August and set the end of school in late May. That calendar was rescinded by the board in January after the board received criticism about the transparency of the decision.
The answers in this survey could be used to help the board as it eyes changing the calendar for the 2016-17 year, although some board members showed support for waiting until the 2017-18 year to make a change -- if one is made at all.
The San Ramon Valley Unified School District recently adjusted its instructional calendars to end the first semester before winter break. The Dublin Unified School District is also considering changing its calendar.