KASB Calendar Survey Data – Changes from 2016-17 to 2017-18

KASB Calendar Survey Data – Changes from 2016-17 to 2017-18

KASB recently released the 2017 Annual Calendar Survey
Report, where we describe the information from districts related to the 2017-18
school year and all school years back to 2001-02.  In it, we discuss trends across this period,
but do not focus on
the changes from last year to this year. 
In this post, we will talk about what has apparently changed
since last year, and why these changes might have happened.

Note that the data being used for the annual
report and for this post represents 97% of the districts for 2016-17, and 77%
of the districts for 2017-18, so some of the differences could be due to the
districts who have not responded yet for this year.

Here are some of the changes from last year to this year
that are worth noting:

  • Days: 
    The data shows that from 2001-02 through 2016-17, the average number of
    student contact days decreased steadily from 177.4 to 167.5, but then increased
    to 168.2 in 2017-18.  This is the first
    year the student contact days have increased since 2005-06.  In addition, in-service days increased from
    6.4 last year to 6.7 this year, which is the highest average number of days
    reported so far on this survey.
  • Duration: The data shows that from
    2001-02 through 2016-17, the number of hours spent at school per day by both
    students and teachers has been steadily increasing, with teachers spending
    about 10 minutes more per day at school in 2016-17 than they did in 2001-02,
    and with students spending about 15 minutes more.  However, from 2016-17 to 2017-18, the average
    time spent at school has decreased one minute for both students and
    teachers. 
  • Kindergarten Formats: The percent of
    kindergarten programs that are all day, every day has been increasing since
    2001-02, with 34% of schools reported with full day programs in 2001-02
    compared to 88% in 2016-17.  However, the
    percent of schools reported with all day every day programs increased to 94% in
    2017-18, which is a much larger increase in percent than has been seen in
    recent years. 


In previous reports, we have noted that the general trend in
Kansas was that teachers were working fewer days per year, but those days were
longer.  One possible explanation for
this is districts’ needs to save money by decreasing teacher contract days, and
another is that districts decreased teacher contract days in lieu of salary
increases as part of the teacher contract negotiations process. 

If either or both of these explanations are true, then the
change in trends for days and duration could be due to the additional money
districts received for the 2017-18 school year after several years of flat
funding.  Districts may be moving towards
having more student contact days and more teacher in-service days while
shortening the actual school days themselves because they have the flexibility
to do that with the additional funding received. 

In terms of Kindergarten formats, at the state and national
levels, it has for some time been the consensus that all day, every day
kindergarten formats are preferable to half day every day programs, all day every
other day programs, or even half day every other day programs.  However, the state has not made the
commitment to fully fund all day every day kindergarten programs until this
year.  The larger increase in the number
of schools reported with all day every day kindergarten programs is likely due
to the additional money districts received for the 2017-18 school year for
kindergarten classrooms.

To read the full KASB 2017 Calendar Survey Annual Report, click here.