February 27, 2023

Dear Hastings Families and Staff:

As promised in the February 17 Friday Letter, I am sharing the Proposed School Calendar for 2023-24. The proposed calendar will be up for discussion and adoption by the Board of Education (BOE) at its February 28, 2023 meeting. The BOE first discussed the proposed calendar at the February 7, 2023 BOE meeting. It is a standard practice to review the proposed calendar at two successive BOE meetings.

Below, I have provided explanations for particular aspects of the proposed calendar. These are listed chronologically.   

  1. We continue to front-load three Superintendent Conference Days (SCD) before Labor Day Weekend. Currently, the dates are 8/29-31. Given the proposed school start date (see #2), we may shift the three SCDs to 8/30-31 and 9/5. We will consult with administrators and the Hastings Teachers Association on the best approach.  
  2. The proposed first day of school for students has been delayed one day to Wednesday, September 6, 2023. We shifted one day from what had been a four-day Memorial Day Weekend.  
  3. All other details of the previous draft Calendar are unchanged.
  4. After much deliberation, we have not included a school vacation for either Eid al-Fitr (4/10/24) or Eid al-Adha (6/17/24). We are concerned about future years when we might have to subtract these days to achieve the required number of school days.
  5. We decided against listing all religious observances on the Calendar, whether or not they are vacation days. We want the Calendar to be solely a tool for staff and families to know when school is open or closed, or in a “staff-only mode” (i.e., SCD). Religious observances are only listed to explain why school is closed.  
  6. We list up to three additional emergency closure days if we use more than the currently allotted six days. The chances of this occurring are slim; we know that over the past 11 years we have averaged 3-4 emergency closure days, with as many as five days only occurring once.

We look forward to discussing the revised Calendar with the BOE on February 28. I will send out an update on March 1 regarding the BOE’s final decisions.

Be Well.

William S. McKersie, Ph.D. 

Superintendent of Schools