How does the calendar get developed?
Each year, an internal working committee of central office staff draft a school-year calendar reflecting the number of school days, teacher workdays, holidays and professional development days. The rules used to guide the development of the calendar are set by the Pennsylvania State Legislature (1949 Act 14 Article XV), the Pittsburgh Public Schools Board of Education (Policy 902) and the work-year terms outlined in the Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers (PFT) Collective Bargaining Agreement (Article 53). The calendars meet the following requirements and laws:
When developing the school calendar, the District also takes into account the following additional considerations:
- Instructional days are scheduled with an academic focus so that students and teachers are in school for unbroken periods of instruction time.
- Eight (8) half-days/early dismissals are set aside for school and district-level professional development time.
- Breaks are scheduled so that teachers and students have consecutive days off in the winter and spring.
- Labor Day, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving Day, Friday after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, News Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Day and Memorial Day are school holidays.
- The Monday after Thanksgiving and the Monday after Easter are school-only vacation days.
- Schools are closed on Election Day each year in November and April/May since many schools serve as polling locations
The draft calendar is reviewed by the Superintendent’s Executive Cabinet, as well as the Executive Committee of the Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers. Since 2017, school-year calendar options have been placed online to allow students, families, staff and the Pittsburgh community to vote on the option that they prefer. Once voting closes, the calendar is presented to the Board of Directors for approval. The approved calendar is communicated with families and staff on the District’s website and in a mailing. A staff-focused calendar is also developed and distributed prior to the end of the school year that includes employee pay dates. Staff and families also receive a 12-month flip calendar in the mail each August.