School District Calendars

Parent Q&A

  • First day of school, Fall 2018?

    (10 replies)

    I can't believe I have to ask this, but does anyone know what the first day of school is for the upcoming school year (2018-2019)? Yes, I checked the BUSD website, and there's no calendar there for next year. My child's school secretary didn't know (!), neither did the school secretaries of several of the other elementary schools in Berkeley (!!), and in repeated calls to different BUSD offices we couldn't get a single human being to answer the phone (!!!). I don't need to explain how stupid and exasperating and, frankly, unprofessional this is. So does anyone know the answer to this apparently obscure question?

    It's official now. First day of school is August 27. No one could answer this question for you until the calendar was finalized, for the reasons that others have mentioned..

    I don't know, but I just want to agree with you that the school district makes it very hard on working parents. January and February is when we need to get summer camps lined up, request leave for our family vacation, and make plans with other family members who also have to request leave in advance. Not just for summer but also for Thanksgiving and winter break. But there is no official calendar so you are trying to guess which days are available and which aren't. I can remember some years when the BUSD calendar wasn't available until just before school let out in June.  Over the years I saw that school started back sometimes before Labor Day, sometimes after.  I think it is a shame that the district punishes working families in this way.

    I don't live in Berkeley, so I will admit upfront that I'm not super up on the BUSD governance, but generally, school boards approve the calendar developed by administration. No school or office staff can tell you the answer until an official calendar is approved. A good way to find out when they'll be releasing the '18-'19 calendar is to check when the board approved and released last year's calendar. Here in my district, the board doesn't even see a proposed calendar until their February meeting, and approves it in March. Knowing that helps me know when to start looking for it on the district website.

    Isn't it typically the day after Labor Day, ie. September 4? That's when my son's first day of school is at his Berkeley private school.

    I think you just have to wait. I have no idea when my school district's first day is next year - and I'm a teacher! Sometimes the calendar gets bundled in with other issues that are being negotiated between the unions and mgmt, and that can cause delay, or it could just be too early to know. 

    The calendars have not been posted yet for the next school year -- I think it gets posted in March.  The past couple of years BUSD has started on the TUESDAY before Labor day. However, prior to that it was the Wednesday before Labor Day.  Check the website  It will be there when it is published.

    I believe the radio silence is because it is not yet finalized (nor is OUSD's, though at least they've announced the first day!), which is maddening given that summer camp signups have already opened! However, there is a draft calendar up on the teachers' union site with a first day of August 27th. No idea if that will stick but it would give you some guidance. It also shows proposed Thanksgiving and winter breaks, so worth a look.

    I don't know for sure about 2018, but in our years of experience with BUSD school has traditionally started on the Tuesday (occasionally Wednesday) before the Labor Day holiday.  Perhaps that gives you enough of an idea to make your plans? Since they didn't respond by telephone, did you email them?  (and of course I don't know how old your kid is, but if they're entering high school there are sign-ups/enrollment/class choice/ID issues that happen prior to the first day)  Good luck

    When I was teaching in another district, the next school year calendar was not decided on until spring of the current school year.  There had to be input and consultation by teachers, union, and district administration.

    Googling brought up a proposed calendar for 2018-19 that puts the first day of school on August 27.  But note proposed.  No idea whether that will prove accurate.

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Archived Q&A and Reviews

Seeking preschool compatible with BUSD schedule

Sept 2012

I'm in the preliminary stages of researching preschools for my daughter as her older brother is headed off to kindergarten in fall 2013. I'd love to send her to the same preschool as her brother is currently attending, however this school seems to have frequent staff training and religious holiday breaks built into the schedule, plus lengthy vacation breaks in the winter, spring and summer, and I've heard from other parents here that the breaks don't coincide well with the BUSD schedule. We are a family with two working parents and it would be nice to find a preschool where we don't have to blow all our vacation time filling in gaps in our kids' school schedules. (Is this even realistic?) Does anyone have recommendations for preschools with breaks that coincide well with BUSD breaks, or a schedule that is generally more adapted to the needs of families with two working parents? Anywhere in Berkeley or Emeryville would be great. - running low on PTO

Check out The New School of Berkeley (

Its schedule is based on BUSD's, with the added bonus that it's open during BUSD one-day holidays (Malcolm X Day...) and BUSD spring break. The only days it's closed when BUSD schools are open are the Friday before Memorial Day (for the annual New School family camping trip to Mendocino, which is awesome) and a few days around the time BUSD schools start in late August.

Plus, New School is around the corner from Berkeley Arts Magnet BUSD elementary school, and it offers before- and after-school care for elementary-age kids. Both my kids, who go/went to BAM, went to New School from preschool (ages 2/3) through elementary-school after-school care (ages 6-10). Robin

Once again, please see my response above to ''Looking for a mellow preschool near Glenview''. First Years Enrichment is year-round and on the BUSD calendar. Their number is 510.658.8109. A very pleased Mom