The Mercer Island School District and the Mercer Island Education Association have reportedly reached a tentative deal on a school calendar for three years, beginning with the 2013-14 school calendar.
MIEA President Tani Lindquist said the union and the school district had reached a deal on Tuesday, Jan. 15.
"We are pleased with the work we've done together so far and are looking forward to ratification of the calendar," she said.
Collective bargaining over renewal of a new calendar had been taking place over the past several months to reach a three-year calendar, as they did in 2009. Negotiations included elements of student programming and work-life balance, said Lindquist.
An MISD proposal to move the start time at elementary schools back to 9:10 a.m. was removed from the calendar discussion after she said it became clear it required more discussion.
Due to shifting holidays on calendars and state requirements on instructional time, the calendar must be adjusted every year, said MISD's Director of Human Resources Mark Roschy. That results in different starting and ending dates for the school year, especially because the traditional start of the school year starts near Labor Day.
"A lot" of anxious parents began contacting the MISD in December, said Roschy, trying to make plans for the coming year and asking when the calendar would be released.
"If Labor Day was always on Sept. 3, our lives would be very easy, but it's always on the first Monday of September — so it's never a set date," he said. "We were trying to get a multi-year calendar. People like to know what the plan is done the road."
Labor Day falls on Sept. 3 this year, Sept. 2 in 2014 and Sept. 7th in 2015. The tentative calendar contract for three calendar years could be approved by the Mercer Island School Board by Feb. 14, if not sooner.
Mercer Island School District dozens of parents began contacting MISD administrators in December asking about next year's calendar, usually published before the beginning of the calendar year.
It was originally hoped that an agreed upon calendar would be published by December of 2012 for next year's school calendar. Unfortunately, negotiations with the Mercer Island Education Association have not yet yielded an agreed upon calendar. Talks continue and will hopefully be resolved by the end of January 2013. We know many families like to have this information early and the district has made every effort to meet that expectation. Once finalized, the new calendars will be published on the district website, please check back for this update