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More school days for TUSD students, teachers next year
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Turlock Unified School District students will start school five days earlier in August. - photo by Journal file photo

More is always better­­—at least when it comes to food, sleep and money.

With this principle in mind, Turlock Unified School District is hoping to prove that more school days are also better with its recently adopted 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 school year calendars.

Included in both calendars—which were approved by the TUSD Board of Trustees this month—is one extra instructional day for students and two additional professional development days for teachers. The additional days will also see an earlier start to the academic year. For the 2015-2016 academic year, students and teachers can expect to return to school on Aug. 13 — five days earlier than in 2014. The following academic year will begin on Aug. 10, 2016.

“The students will benefit from another full day of instruction which will increase time for learning,” said assistant superintendent of human resources Heidi Lawler. “Both teachers and students will benefit from the professional development days, as teachers will be provided coordinated training based on our students’ needs, in order to improve their professional practice.”

According to Lawler, these new school year calendars are the result of a collective bargaining agreement between TUSD and the Turlock Teaches Association.

Beginning with the upcoming academic year, student attendance days will increase from 180 to 181 as a result of the extra instructional day.

With the implementation of two additional professional development days, teachers can expect a total of three professional development days next year—two of which will occur on Aug. 11 and 12 before the school year begins and one of which will occur on Jan. 4 before students return from winter break.

In the 2016-2017 academic year, teacher professional development days are slated to fall on Aug. 8 and 9 prior to students returning to school and on Jan. 3 following winter break.

“In planning for the professional development days, the District is seeking input from stakeholders in a variety of ways, including a survey to all teachers,” said Lawler. “TTA will have an opportunity to meet with District administrators to provide input as well. We are primarily seeking input from certificated staff and site principals.”

To view both school year calendars, visit