The Dearborn Public Schools Board of Education voted on Monday night to approve the new contract with the Dearborn Federation of Teachers, which also sets the district’s calendar for the year.
The Aug. 21, 2023 vote approved the five-year contract, which also includes an updated salary schedule and a number of other details governing teacher employment. The contract also includes this year’s school calendar and preliminary calendars for the next few years.
DFT members approved the contract earlier in August.
For the 2023-24 school year, the calendar includes early release on most Tuesdays. Starting on Oct. 10, students on Tuesdays will be released 90 minutes before their usual dismissal time. The early release will give teachers time to meet in professional learning communities, which is a best practice. Teachers have asked the district to provide more time for these responsibilities during their regular work day. The early releases replace seven late start Wednesdays and several half days that were part of school calendars for the last several years.
Schools are also working to develop plans to provide a supervised activity for K-8 students who need a place to be during the 90 minutes on Tuesday afternoons.
The most up-to-date calendar information can always be found on the district’s website at www.dearbornschools.org/calendars. The district released its first version of this year’s calendar on Aug. 7 after the teachers union and administrators had reached a tentative agreement on the entire contract.
The district chose Tuesdays as early release days to simplify planning for staff and families by keeping schedule variations as much as possible to one day of the week. Three Tuesdays were already going to be days off school – one for Eid and two due to elections, which the district uses for professional development. By adding the other professional development day on Tuesday, Oct. 3, and early release on Tuesdays, it simplifies the calendar for families. Parents will not need to deal with a day off for election and then an early release on a different day that week. There are also research-based reasons for doing this type of work on Tuesdays during the school week.
School lunches will still be served on early release Tuesdays.
The first day of school will be Monday, Aug. 28, 2023. It is again a half day. New this year is that school open houses will be held on Aug. 25, the Friday before school starts. Each school has selected what time that afternoon to hold its open house.
For kindergarten and Young 5s students, the soft start was shortened from what was announced in the spring. Kindergarten students will now only have half days from Aug. 28 through Sept. 5.
Many other items in the calendar will be familiar to parents, including a four day weekend over Labor Day, three days off at Thanksgiving, two weeks off for the holidays, a week of spring break at the end of March, and April 9 and 10 off for Eid. The last day of school will be June 7, 2024. As part of an earlier than usual end of school, the mid-winter break in February and Memorial Day weekend were shortened to three day weekends with only the Mondays off.
Another academic change this year will be a realignment of marking periods so that the first semester ends before the holiday break in December. High school students will take their first semester finals before break. All students will return on Jan. 8 to a half day as the second semester starts.
School start times and end times this year will remain the same except for early release Tuesdays. Those times include:
- High school – 7:50 a.m. to 2:45 p.m., half day ending at 10:55 a.m., early release Tuesdays ending at 1:15 p.m.
- Middle school and K-8 campuses – 8:25 a.m. to 3:20 p.m., half day ending at 11:30 a.m., early release Tuesdays ending at 1:50 p.m. This includes all of McCollough Elementary and Salina Elementary and Intermediate.
- Elementary School – 9:00 a.m. to 3:55 p.m., half day ending at 12:05 p.m., early release at 2:25 p.m.
- Lowrey School – Elementary 8:15 a.m. to 3:10 p.m., half day ending at 11:20 a.m. and early release ending at 1:40 p.m.. Middle school 8:10 a.m. to 3:05 p.m., half days ending at 11:15 a.m., early release at 1:35 p.m.
- Early College at HFC 8:00 a.m. to 2:25 p.m., half day ending at 10:45 a.m. and early release at 12:55.
- The Heights Campus: DCMST, MBCC and Magnet High – 8:05 a.m. to 2:25 p.m., half day ending at 10:45 a.m., early release at 12:55 p.m. STEM Middle School 7:50 a.m. to 2:45 p.m., half day ending at 10:55 a.m. and early release at 1:15 p.m.
Print-friendly versions of the calendar are available at the district’s website by scrolling to the bottom of the page at https://dearbornschools.org/calendars/. Parents are reminded to check with their child’s school for important events and activities unique to their school and not appearing on the district calendar.