January 14, 2016 

City News Service  


The Los Angeles Board of Education on Tuesday night approved the dates when the next school year will begin and end, allowing students in the nation’s second-largest district to follow a schedule that mimics the current school year calendar. The first day of school is Aug. 16, 2016 and the last day is June 9, 2017. Under this plan, the first semester finishes before students take a three- week winter break. Then, school resumes after the first week of January.


By a 5-2 vote, board members approved the calendar recommended by district staff, but it was not without debate. The board spent about 90 minutes discussing when the school year should start and close, and how long the holiday break should last. An advisory group of board member staff, parents, principals and union employees was set up to study the best path for student learning.


Parents and employees also were surveyed, according to the district. Some said an earlier start date that allows the first semester to end by the time winter break starts benefits high school seniors more than other students. It allows them more time to apply for college, and to finish courses before their vacation begins.


“I do not understand what our rationale is: to accommodate a few high school students, which are wonderful students but they’re not the only students in the district?” said Board Vice President George J. McKenna III.


Board President Steve Zimmer said many families struggling economically often prefer their children to be in school “as much as possible. People are generally thankful when school is open earlier.”  Amid strong views on both sides of the issue, the board approved the calendar for a single school year instead of the three that had been proposed. Some members said they believe more data and time would help them reach a better decision for future school years.

Category: Education