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Bloomfield Hills Schools
7273 Wing Lake Road
Bloomfield Hills, MI 48301
If you need any further information, please feel free to contact Karen Hildebrandt at KHilderbrandt@bloomfield.org or 248.341.5461.
Q: My boys had the opportunity to attend an international school in Germany for three years. This exposed us to an academic calendar that had an allocation of school time versus break time throughout the year that I consider vastly superior to the one in the BH school district. This got me wondering how the academic calendar in the BH school district gets determined, and if there is any possibility of influencing this through political or some other means. I understand that there is a law in Michigan requiring school to start after Labor Day, but besides from that, how does the schedule get determined? Who determines what breaks there are, how long they are, and when they occur? Is there any consideration of the desires of the district’s customers/taxpayers?
A: Thanks for your question and suggestion.
Our calendars are negotiated every few years, and we do have some parameters. We must start after Labor Day and have at least 180 days and 1098 hours of instruction (which we currently exceed). We try to follow a common calendar across the county, but it is not mandatory. Generally we close school for major Christian and Jewish holidays as we know that attendance would be low on those days and we have a minimum percentage of attendance required in order for a day to be counted. We also have a couple of weeks before school begins where our teachers receive professional development and prepare for the year.
Aside from the above, most of the patterns in the school calendar have developed over time based upon established patterns and our perception of community preferences. At one time, Way school was on a 'year round' calendar, and it was dropped after a number of years. Currently, I don't hear much from parents or other taxpayers about wanting a different schedule. Technically we can consider other options within the law and within our current budget (adding time usually involves adding cost). It has been my experience that significant schedule change is much easier said than done for a variety of reasons. That said, I'm always open to other thoughts and suggestions.
Q: Will the District seriously consider early or staggered start times? The medical research seems compelling at this point, if not overwhelming. And the change certainly seems to fit with the more "open" and "collegiate" nature of the new high school. The logistics are daunting, but it is certainly doable. Thanks again for the multiple opportunities for communication.
A: Thanks so much for the question and the feedback. I do think we will be at least taking this up at some point in the reasonable future. We considered doing so last year but had to make some capacity decisions. You state the current situation well, and you are not alone in this request.
Dr. Rob Glass, former Superintendent, took the opportunity every few months to chat in an unscripted session about Bloomfield Hills Schools and the issues facing the district.
View the Coffee Chat Sessions
Proactively Preserving the Opportunities Within Bloomfield Hills Schools
The Umbrella Project tied together many of the strategic initiatives of Bloomfield Hills Schools. Much of the staff and community capacity was spent on these projects, which were meant to protect and enhance the opportunities within Bloomfield Hills Schools.
To learn more about specific elements of The Umbrella Project, please visit the following links:
Staff from Mode Center helped the District's Community Partnership Committee with the development of this program over the 2012-2013 school year. Eastover Elementary School will increase opportunities for involvement by enabling seniors to share their stories and expertise with students.
- Senior citizens living within the school district came to talk to a group of students about their history, passions and life. At Model Center students helped compose stories or created brochures and resumes for seniors' professional needs.
- At Eastover, seniors were able to share their personal stories, favorite family recipes and/or cultural dishes while cooking on the mobile kitchen with students. Seniors also enhanced students' learning experiences by assisting classrooms with the planting, maintenance, or harvesting process in the garden.
In the News
The Diversity, Academic Equity, & Race Relations (DAERR) mission was: “To champion the effort, with our community partners, to improve academic outcomes for all learners and increase cultural competency throughout the district.”
- DAERR Partnership Agenda - 6.22.15
- DAERR Meeting Notes - 6.22.15
- DAERR Partnership Agenda - 8.12.15
- DAERR LAC-O Presentation - 4.18.16
- DAERR Agendas FY2014-15
- DAERR Partnership Agenda - 09.15.14
- DAERR Draft Definitions
- DAERR Norms
- DAERR Mission Statement, Goals, and Committees
- DAERR - Trends and Barriers
- DAERR - Exit Slip Responses
- DAERR - Give One, Get On