The Board of Education Adopts Academic Calendars for 2023-24 and 2024-25
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February 24, 2023
Dear School District of Philadelphia Families,
I am happy to share that, at its meeting last night, the Board of Education voted to adopt the academic calendars for the 2023-2024 and 2024-2025 school years. In developing the academic calendars, our primary goal was to establish a schedule that supports student learning and meets the diverse needs of students, families and staff, while also adhering to calendar requirements mandated by the Pennsylvania Department of Education and Collective Bargaining Units.
To finalize the School Year 2023-2024 and School Year 2024-2025 calendars, we engaged a variety of stakeholders, including District parents and guardians, in order to understand the priorities of our various audiences, and to ensure that our core beliefs, goals, and commitment to equity is reflected. The input and feedback collected from this community engagement, which included town hall sessions, meetings and surveys, informed many changes including:
- The first day of school will be after Labor Day for the 2023-2024 School Year. This may not be possible every year due to calendar constraints that sometimes force us to adjust. For example, you’ll notice that the first day of school for the 2024-2025 school year will be before Labor Day. However, we will strive to enforce school starting after Labor Day as often as possible.
- Several holidays will be celebrated in school as days of dedicated learning. During the community engagement process, it became clear that there is a preference toward saving observed holidays, or school days off, for religious and cultural celebrations and traditions. Therefore, some holidays, like Veterans Day, will be celebrated in school, allowing us to commemorate these days through dedicated learning and reflection.
- There will be fewer half days. We received significant feedback that half days/early dismissal days are difficult for families. So we have adjusted the timing of professional development and report card conferences to reduce the number of half days/early dismissal days in the school calendars.
There are a number of other very important updates to the calendars, which I encourage families to review at www.philasd.org/calendar. There, you will also find an executive summary and FAQ document with more details on our rationale and decision-making process.
These calendars represent another step toward fulfilling our commitment to equity and inclusion. We appreciate all the feedback we received, and look forward to continuing to engage with you as we develop future calendars.
Tony B. Watlington Sr., Ed.D.
The School District of Philadelphia