Do you know when you are starting the school term? Perhaps you don’t know when you are starting, but you have a specific date on which you want school to be finished? Taking a moment to map out your academic year (start date, stop date, vacations, holidays, etc.) can save you a lot of hair pulling later. You don’t want to find out in June that you still have a month of science lessons left or realize you have to continue for 2 weeks longer than you planned because you haven’t met your state attendance requirements. I created a worksheet to help you map your academic year, so there won’t be any surprises.
Start by downloading my Mapping Your Year worksheet.
- Decide when you are going to take your holidays. Are you going to follow state/federal holidays? Are you taking your vacation during the school year? Decide how much time you want off for Thanksgiving and Christmas. How about spring break? Do you need any other days off? Using the ‘Map Your Year’ download, circle all days off you will take off. See the photo for my chosen days off.
- Decide an anchor date. Do you have a specific date you want to start or end the year on? I want to finish the school year on May 20th, so that will be my anchor date.
- Decide how long your school year needs to be. Each state has its own attendance requirements. Click here to verify your state’s requirements. In general, most states are 180 day or below. (Be aware that some states also have a daily/yearly hourly requirement.) Most year-long curricula map out a 36 week scope and sequence (36 weeks x 5 days/week = 180 days). I usually plan on a 36 week plus 1 catch-up week.
- Map your weeks. Starting at your anchor date, start counting out your weeks. Since my anchor date is May 20th, I started at the end of the year. First, I put in my catch-up week, then started counting backwards starting at 36. Don’t count any week you took off. (Put an X in the week column). You will notice I put an X during our Thanksgiving Week but only took 3 days off. We will have school that Monday and Tuesday, but I will take off Labor Day and one day in October, so it evens out. Look at the following example:
I now know that we need to start school on August 10th in order to meet our state attendance requirements and finish when I want to on May 20th, and I know exactly which holidays I am taking off. I can compare my curriculum’s scope and sequence to see if I am on schedule or if I need to make any adjustments.
Keep track of your weekly attendance using my Attendance Chart 2015. You can chart up to 5 students for 5-6 days a week. I only plan on a typical 5 day school week, but sometimes THINGS happen, and we may switch and do a school day on Saturday. Here is an example of a filled out Attendance Chart:
I hope this helps you prepare for the upcoming school year.
Till Next Time,