The Gahanna-Jefferson Public Schools' calendar in the next two academic years will be similar to that of this year.

Assistant superintendent Jill Elliott said some minor shifts in professional development and conference days will occur, but overall the new calendars are fairly similar.

The Gahanna-Jefferson school board voted Dec. 14 to approve the 2018-19 and 2019-20 school calendars.

The 2018-19 calendar schedules the first day of classes for Aug. 15, 2018.

Winter break will be from Dec. 24, 2018, through Jan. 4, 2019. Spring break will be March 25-29, 2019.

Graduation will be May 25, 2019, and the last day of school for all other students will be May 29.

The academic calendar for 2019-20 sets the first day of classes on Aug. 14, 2019.

Winter break is scheduled Dec. 23, 2019, through Jan. 3, 2020. Spring break will be March 23-27, 2020. Graduation will be May 23, 2020, and the last day of school for other students will be May 27.

Elliott said the process of finalizing calendars for the next two school years began with a district committee of parents and teachers who considered current and past calendars, and developed priorities for what should be included in the future.

Using the calendar committee's priorities, four draft calendars were created and presented for review.

"The committee provided feedback on all four calendars, which allowed us to narrow it to two calendar formats that we then took to our school community for a vote," Elliott said. "We had just over 1,500 votes and format option two was the clear front-runner, which we used for both calendars."

She said the two formats were very similar. One key difference was that option one involved starting school a week later and carried the first semester past winter break. Option two followed a similar format to the current calendar, starting the middle of August and wrapping up the semester at winter break.

Option one also had school in session until June, while option two included a May close date.

Judy Hengstebeck, the district's communications coordinator, said option two became a favorite with many because it allows exams to be taken and the quarter to be finished before winter break.

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