Students in Gainesville City Schools will start the 2019-20 academic year on Wednesday, Aug. 7, following approval of the calendar this week by the board of education.
The calendar includes a full week off for Thanksgiving break and two weeks for Christmas break. It also includes a four-day weekend around the annual Columbus Day holiday in October.
The calendar includes additional planning days for teachers and staff before and after the school year, as well as a few planning days sprinkled in the winter and spring.
And makeup days are built into the calendar the week of Memorial Day 2020 should inclement weather cause students to miss some instructional time.
The setting of the calendar comes at a time when state lawmakers are considering recommendations from a Senate study committee to pursue more uniformity in school calendars for 181 districts across the state.
Among the committee’s many suggestions for lawmakers to consider is a requirement that school districts start classes no earlier than seven to 10 days prior to the first Monday in September, and end on or about June 1.
In its report, the committee acknowledged the competing interests of school officials and tourism representatives.
Local school leaders have opposed any state mandates regarding school calendars, arguing that local control is essential to meet the needs of unique communities.
Superintendent Jeremy Williams said that even if the legislature were to mandate some changes, he does not expect those changes to be implemented until the 2020-21 school year.