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CUSD LOGOBy Allison Jarrell

The Capistrano Unified Board of School District directed staff Wednesday night to return to its next meeting with two academic calendar options to vote on for the 2016-2017 school year.

The CUSD Board of Trustees discussed three options Wednesday night in regards to the 2016-2017 academic calendar—keep the current calendar with an Aug. 15 start date, amend the calendar to mirror this year’s Aug. 25 start date or take time to further engage and poll the public, which would ultimately delay the approval of the 2016-2017 calendar.

CUSD students began school early this year on Aug. 25 following a March 11 vote by the district board to adjust the academic calendar. The board also voted at that time to begin the 2016-2017 year on Aug. 15, 2016. Trustees said the earlier start would better align CUSD with other schools and colleges countywide and nationwide.

The board received 19 speaker cards on the topic Wednesday night, with each speaker opposing the current Aug. 15 start date. The board voted 6-1, with Board President Lynn Hatton-Hodson dissenting, to direct staff to return to the next meeting with two calendars for the trustees to vote one—one that mirrors the current 2015-2016 calendar and one that ends the first semester at winter break. This year, the first semester ends Jan. 21.

What looks to be the final discussion of the 2016-2017 academic calendar will take place at the board’s Oct. 14 meeting. At that meeting, the board will also discuss the community engagement process moving forward for future academic calendars. CUSD meetings begin at 7 p.m. at the district office, located at 33122 Valle Road. To see the board’s agenda, visit

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