As local students prepare to head back to school, there’s a glaring difference between public and private school-year calendars, with parochial schools teaching students for an extra week as other districts cut back on instructional days.
In January 2011, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles announced that elementary schools in Santa Barbara, Ventura and Los Angeles counties would expand their school years, which includes local parochial K-8 schools Notre Dame, Our Lady of Mount Carmel and St. Raphael.
Michelle Limb, principal of St. Raphael and administrator for Notre Dame, said the extended calendars have made a huge difference for teachers and students. The schools will have 185 and 186 days of school this year, respectively.
“Ask any teacher in any school in any state — they don’t have time to get through the curriculum,” she said, adding that now, not only do teachers get through it but they go deeper into the subject matter.
The school added more programs with the extra time, in sharp contrast to districts that are cutting back on extracurricular activities and elective classes. Limb said Notre Dame has foreign language, two music teachers, art and physical education classes.
She said students are happy to be back at school with their friends — at least for now — and both schools are planning events for families within the next few weeks.
Mount Carmel, another parochial school for pre-kindergarten through eighth grade, will be in session beginning Monday and running through June 21, with 190 days. Principal Karen Regan said the school added the 10 days last year but isn’t extending the year any more for 2012-13.
In California, the standard is a 180-day school year, but that number has dropped for many schools on the South Coast. Most classes start next week. Scroll down for a full calendar.
The Santa Barbara Unified School District, the largest K-12 district on the South Coast, implemented seven days of employee furloughs to balance this year’s budget, resulting in five fewer days of school.
Having a 175-day year will no doubt have a significant impact — students will learn less, Superintendent Dave Cash said at a back-to-school meeting earlier this month.
The district has struggled with ever-dropping state funding and made pre-emptive cuts this year to anticipate Gov. Jerry Brown’s tax initiative failing in November. Its schools start Monday but get out May 30. They’re one of the few; most smaller districts and charter schools have escaped that cut, holding onto their 180 days of class for students.
2012-13 School Calendars
» Santa Barbara Unified School District: Traditional schools begin Monday and let out May 30, with 175 student days. Year-round schools Cleveland Elementary and Santa Barbara Community Academy began July 16 and end May 30.
» Peabody Charter School’s year began Thursday and runs to June 6, with 180 days of school.
» Adelante Charter also has 180 days, running from Monday to June 7.
» Santa Barbara Charter School started Wednesday with minimum days and has its first full day Monday, with its last day May 31. It’s a 175-day school year for students.
» The Goleta Union School District has 180 days of school this year, starting Monday through June 6.
» The Montecito Union School District has 180 days, from next Wednesday to June 12.
» The Hope Elementary School District has 178 days for students, from Monday to June 5.
» The Cold Spring School District has 180 days of school, from Sept. 4 to June 13.
» The Carpinteria Unified School District has 180 days of school, starting last Monday to June 7.
» Anacapa School, grades 7 through 12; school starts Sept. 6
» Bishop Garcia Diego High School, grades 9 through 12; school started Aug. 15
» Cate School, grades 9 through 12; school starts Aug. 30
» Coastline Christian Academy, kindergarten through eighth grade; school starts Wednesday
» Crane Country Day School, kindergarten through eighth grade; school starts Sept. 4
» El Montecito School, kindergarten through sixth grade; school starts Tuesday
» Garden Street Academy, kindergarten through 12th grade; school starts Sept. 18
» Howard School, kindergarten through seventh grade; school starts Monday
» Laguna Blanca School, kindergarten through 12th grade; school starts Sept. 5
» Marymount of Santa Barbara, kindergarten through eighth grade; school starts Tuesday
» Montessori Center School of Santa Barbara, kindergarten through sixth grade; school starts Sept. 4
» Notre Dame School, kindergarten through eighth grade; school started Wednesday
» Our Lady of Mount Carmel, kindergarten through eighth grade; school starts Monday
» Providence Hall, grades 7 through 12; school started Wednesday
» Santa Barbara Adventist, kindergarten through eighth grade
» Santa Barbara Christian School, kindergarten through eighth grade; school starts Monday
» Santa Barbara Middle School, grades 6 through 9; school starts Sept. 5
» Santa Barbara Montessori School, age 18 months-plus and kindergarten through eighth grade; school starts next Wednesday
» St. Raphael Elementary School, kindergarten through eighth grade; school started Thursday
» Waldorf School of Santa Barbara, pre-kindergarten through eighth grade; school starts Sept. 4