Local teachers voted overwhelmingly to approve a new contract with the Lake Washington School District at a meeting last month.
LWEA teachers voted 89 percent in favor of ratifying a new contract May 21. The District’s Board of Directors were expected to take action on the contract settlement at a June 2 meeting, after the Reporter’s deadline.
One focus of the contract negotiations — which began in February — was maintaining the current school-year calendar, said Kathryn Reith, the District’s director of communications. Local schools will see minimal changes to their calendars from the 2008-2009 to 2010-2011 school years as part of the collective bargaining agreement with the Lake Washington Education Association (LWEA). A tentative calendar for 2011-2012 was also developed, subject to change during the next negotiations.
New contracts are developed every three years.
If approved by the Board, the 2008-09 calendar will remain unchanged from the tentative calendar developed three years ago, with the exception of moving the spring break week from April 6-10 to March 30 through April 3. The change was triggered when the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) changed the dates of the Washington Assessment of Student Learning (WASL), Reith said.
School will begin in September for each of the next four years. In two of those years — 2009-10 and 2010-11 — school begins before Labor Day. School will start on the first of September for both of those years. For 2008-09, school begins on Sept. 2, the day after Labor Day. For 2011-2012, it is tentatively scheduled to begin on September 6.
“We know parents are reluctant to have school start before Labor Day,” Superintendent Chip Kimball said in a news release. “However, the later the start, the later school goes into June, which has its own set of problems. I think we’ve found a good balance.”
School ends on June 16 for all three years of the contract and on June 20 for the 2011-2012 school year.
For the 2009-10 through 2011-12 school years, the mid-winter break will change from a Monday through Wednesday to a Thursday and Friday.
“We had to shorten mid-winter break three years ago to return to a full two weeks for the winter holiday break, keep the first day of school in September and still have school get out in mid-June,” Kimball said. “The Thursday through Monday timing reinforces that mid-winter break is really an extended long weekend, not the traditional one-week holiday it used to be.”
The new school calendars will be posted to the district Web site at www.lwsd.org if the Board approves the LWEA contract.