Balanced Calendar

More Information

Contact Information

Dr. Jon Ram Mishra
Assistant Superintendent
Elementary, Early Learning, and Federal Programs | OSPI

In Washington state, a traditional school year lasts 180 days. Students have a few short breaks along the way and a long break in the summer. Instead of concentrating 180 school days into nine months, a balanced calendar spreads them throughout the year. Schools may use the breaks to host “intersessions,” where they can provide additional learning experiences if needed.

Many students experience a loss of learning and continuity during the extended (summer) break in a traditional calendar. Balanced calendar modifies the traditional 180-day calendar to keep the learning process continuous, while still ensuring all students receive 180 days of instruction. This may lead to less review time at the beginning of the school year and more instructional time for all students. See the Balanced Calendar Q&A for more information.

Balanced Calendar | Winlock School District

Balanced Calendar Grant Funding

Through the Balanced Calendar Initiative, OSPI has supported school districts to explore pathways for increasing student learning opportunities and shrinking summer learning loss by balancing or modifying their school year calendars.

Using federal emergency relief funds, OSPI provided funding over two years to public school districts, regional educational service districts, state-tribal education compact schools, and charter schools to support them in examining or implementing a shift to a balanced or modified calendar.

Due to limited availability of these temporary resources, the Balanced Calendar Initiative will not be funded in the 2023–25 biennium. OSPI, the Association of Educational Service Districts, and other partners will be working together in the coming months to identify ways to move the project forward without the federal pandemic funds.


To date, grant funding has been awarded to the following school districts across Washington:

  • Asotin-Anatone School District
  • Benge School District
  • Bremerton School District
  • Candy Mountain Academy
  • Cashmere School District
  • Chewelah School District
  • Chimacum School District
  • Columbia School District (Walla Walla)
  • Crescent School District
  • Elma School District
  • Finley School District
  • Freeman School District
  • Goldendale School District
  • Highland School District
  • Kiona-Benton School District
  • Kahlotus School District
  • Kittitas School District
  • Lopez Island School District
  • Mossyrock School District
  • Mount Adams School District
  • Mount Vernon School District
  • North Mason School District
  • North Thurston School District
  • Oakville School District
  • Olympia School District
  • Paterson School District
  • Pomeroy School District
  • Port Angeles School District
  • Port Townsend School District
  • Prescott School District
  • Rainier Valley Leadership Academy
  • Roosevelt School District
  • Selah School District
  • Soap Lake School District
  • Skykomish School District
  • Thorp School District
  • Toledo School District
  • Toppenish School District
  • Touchet School District
  • Union Gap School District
  • Vancouver School District
  • Wahluke School District
  • Waitsburg School District
  • Winlock School District
  • Yakima School District

Register for Association of Educational Service (AESD) Districts Events

Balanced Calendar events include topics such as:

  • Working with communities and special interest groups
  • Student voice in developing a balanced calendar
  • Intersession materials and strategies
  • Balanced calendar research and Washington case studies
  • Data and the balanced calendar

To find more information, visit the AESD page

Background & Resources

OSPI is partnering with several K–12 statewide organizations to support local education agencies interested in exploring modifying their school year calendars. The Association of Educational Service Districts (AESD Network), a key partner, provides hands-on support and technical assistance to grantee districts to support networking and learning together across school district and regional boundaries.

Other partners include the Association of Washington School Principals, the Washington Association of School Administrators, the Washington State School Directors’ Association, and the Washington Education Association.