The Gainesville City School Board approved the calendar for the school system's 2022-2023 school year at their board meeting Tuesday afternoon.
Jeremy Williams, superintendent of Gainesville City Schools, said the board is hoping for a more normal year, but they have still learned a lot from the pandemic. Lessons from the pandemic have made a lasting impact on the school calendar, such as how the system will handle open house moving forward.
"What we did in early COVID, we did this school year as well, we pulled out our open house activities to where they were standalone activities," Williams said. "They did not interfere with preplanning, they did not interfere with the school day, they were standalone times for our students and staff to be able to interact with one another and start to build that relationship."
Williams said open house was spread out over five days to promote social distancing and COVID safety when the pandemic first began. In 2022, open house will be held over two days: Aug. 5 and 8.
Staggered first days of school will not be returning in 2022. Instead, all students will have their first day of class on Aug. 9, 2022.
"We felt like with where we are now, and where we're looking to be hopefully in August, there won't be a need for a staggered start," Williams said.
Additionally, middle and high school students will have early release days on Dec. 15 and 16, 2022, and May 23 and 24, 2023. The four early release days will begin at 1 p.m. to help reduce students' stress surrounding final exams.
The October fall break has also been extended to include two days off on Oct. 10 and 11, 2022, and a staff planning day on Oct. 12. In previous years, fall break only included one day and one staff planning day.
Lastly, Williams said one major change for high school students relates to how classes will be scheduled.
"For the last 20 plus years, Gainesville High School has been on a schedule called a four by four block, where you take four classes first semester, four different classes the second semester," Williams said. "We are going back to a more traditional model of a seven-period day where a student will take the same seven classes year long."
Williams said the seven-period day will also make it easier for students to transfer into the Gainesville City School System mid-semester.
The full calendar can be viewed here.