Shouldn’t public school calendars take needs of working parents into consideration?

Atlanta is among the districts reconsidering year-round schools where summers are only five weeks long. (AJC photo)

Atlanta is among the districts reconsidering year-round schools where summers are only five weeks long. (AJC photo)

The AJC has an interesting story today on the reconsideration of  year-round school schedules where students have a shortened summer — around five weeks  — and more breaks sprinkled throughout the year.

The story says there’s no strong evidence that the year-round calendar improves student performance. As a result, AJC education writer Mark Niesse says Atlanta may end its experiment with year-around schooling.

While this story focused on “year-round” schools, there are systems, including my own, that have adopted “modified year-around” calendars where students return to classes as early as Aug. 1. Under that schedule, students have seven to eight weeks off in the summer and week-long breaks in the fall and winter, in addition to the standard April spring break.

While both year-round and modified calendars accommodate families with the flexibility and finances to take vacations in the off-seasons, the schedules are tough on parents who cannot take the time off and have to find child care for their kids. Those parents have few good options for their kids compared to the summer when there are many camps.

Some of you will immediately respond that schools can’t consider working parents when they draft their calendars.

Why not?

The traditional school calendar was set up 120 years ago to serve working parents; those parents just happened to be farmers.

There is no more hard science behind the traditional calendar than there is behind the year-round or modified schedule so why shouldn’t schools create calendars that work best for their parent communities? And in most places, that remains the traditional calendar where kids have a longer summer.

Given the lack of options for kids out of school during the non-summer months, the traditional schedule is more congenial to working families because of the wider and cheaper array of available activities in June, July and August.

Here is an excerpt of the AJC story:

At Boyd and elsewhere in the Atlanta school system, academic progress at year-round schools ranges from awful to outstanding, leading education leaders to conclude that the calendar has little to do with classroom accomplishment.

Atlanta’s school board is considering whether to abandon the year-round class calendar at the last three public elementary schools in the metro area still using it — Boyd, Centennial Place and Hutchinson. School officials say the extended schedule has failed to show results after experimenting with it for more than a decade.

“The reality is that there simply isn’t any substantial research that says if you take the same number of days and permute them over different calendars, that the learning outcomes are appreciably different,” Superintendent Erroll Davis said during a recent board work session. “There are more important factors than the calendar. And that is the quality of the principal and the quality of the teachers.”

The Atlanta Board of Education decided Monday to continue the year-round calendar for another school year, but the board will evaluate over the next few months whether to switch to a more traditional calendar in the 2014-2015 school year.

Other school districts in Georgia have already moved away from the year-round calendar. Fulton County ended it at two schools in 2007 and Muscogee County nixed the calendar for the coming school year at two of its schools. Besides Atlanta and Muscogee County, only four other districts in the state — Clayton, Dooley, Seminole and Taliaferro counties — had schools with start dates before July 30 this school year, according to a Georgia Department of Education.

“Students in year-round schools do no better or no worse than the students who attend traditional calendar schools,” said Valerie Fuller, spokeswoman for the Muscogee County School District, which includes the city of Columbus.

Among Atlanta elementary schools, Boyd’s students pursue 12.8 months worth of knowledge compared to what an average student would take in over a typical nine-month school year, according to Atlanta Public Schools’ value-added scores. Students at Centennial are close to average, at 9.7 months worth of education. Hutchinson was near the bottom at 6.2 months.

One downfall of the year-round calendar is that many students skip the first month of school each year and don’t enroll until August, when most schools start. At Hutchinson, 25 percent of the student population enrolled after Aug. 6 this school year, according to the school district. At Centennial and Boyd, the numbers of students starting late were 11 percent and 14 percent, respectively.

Those students’ tardiness lost them 18 days of class time out of 180 annual instructional days.

Parents of children at Boyd Elementary said they’ve grown used to the year-round calendar, which has been in place since 1999.

“I like it because they get more school during the summer,” said Ciara Johnson, whose son is in fifth grade. “If you let them out too much in the summer time, they lose too much.”

Last summer’s five-week break was long enough, parents said. Students on a traditional calendar had more than 10 weeks off for summer.

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

117 comments Add your comment

bootney farnsworth

March 8th, 2013
2:44 pm

absolutely.

in an urban setting, there is no need for a prolonged summer vacation.
a schedule with more, shorter breaks, is much more realistic in today’s life

Google "NEA" and "union"

March 8th, 2013
2:48 pm

If Get Schooled were a blog promoting educational excellence rather than the narrow interests of teachers’ unions and the liberal elite—vacation schedules would be a matter for parents to take into consideration.

… in the course of applying their individual tuition voucher toward the school which best meets their child’s needs.

Sort of like rich liberals, well off union bosses, and many others do now in their choice of suburb or educational expenditures.

mystery poster

March 8th, 2013
2:48 pm

Slightly off topic, but this one gets me…
A truly balanced calendar is 10 weeks on, 3 weeks off all year long.

Do not bring in statistical studies from truly balanced calendars to support or refute the ones with shortened summer breaks and weeks off here and there.

atlmom

March 8th, 2013
2:50 pm

It seems to me that a year round calendar is better (all the studies I’ve read indicated that students lose A LOT of knowledge over the summer, so the year round calendar tries to minimize that).
It seems that more breaks over a ‘longer’ period (with a shorter summer break) would yield better results (in the ‘regular’ calendar, nothing much is done for about 2 weeks before break and 2 weeks (or more) before the end of school…because kids are anxious. They need more breaks).

As for the ‘working parents’ – unless you are going to go to a year round school with only major holidays and 2 weeks off a year, 8-10 hour days – I don’t see how the calendar being one way or the other ‘takes into account’ or doesn’t ‘working parents’. Parents have to deal with care either way. And it would seem to me that for those ‘off’ weeks – enterprising day cares/teachers/just regular people would be around to ‘help out’ for a fee. There are spring break camps *everywhere* these days – so why wouldn’t there be for any other types of breaks. I understand that when you have a smaller number of schools doing this, then perhaps there wouldn’t be as many choices, but still – one would think that there is a way. No, it’s not stress free for the parents, but again, unless you are going to completely overhaul the way school is done, nothing would be stress free.

Starting school in August in Atlanta is a win win. It is *so hot* – and who wants to be outside then? it’s horrible. Why not be in a classroom that might be air conditioned? Because it’s not like people want to be outside – they want to be in a frigid movie theater.
AND then the kids get out earlier for summer break. When the weather is GORGEOUS.

OriginalProf

March 8th, 2013
2:51 pm

@ bootney. Uhhhh, I think Maureen’s argument is the opposite: “Given the dearth of options for kids out of school during the non-summer months, it seems to me that the traditional schedule is more congenial to working families because of the wider array of available activities.”

irisheyes

March 8th, 2013
2:52 pm

Does anyone seriously believe that daycares wouldn’t adjust to year round schools? I’m in Gwinnett, and if we went to year round school, the daycares here would figure out how to staff their centers in an instant.

atlmom

March 8th, 2013
2:52 pm

but the atlanta metro area really needs to STOP changing the calendar every year. I speak to parents who get different calendars every year for years. the school boards need to make decisions and stick with them, they need to stop making each year a ‘data point.’ They need to put together next year’s calendar before spring break. seriously – people make plans.

ABC

March 8th, 2013
2:54 pm

The way I see it, the traditional calendar works WAY better for working parents anyways. There are TONS of day care, camps, etc options in the summer, but unless you are going skiing, what the hell are you supposed to do with kids during an ugly week off in February?

We in Cobb Co had the BS balanced calendar one year and it SUCKED. The school year was incredibly long, the kids weeks off disrupted kids’ routines, and it was a pain to figure out what to do for day care. The people that liked it were (a)parents that had the money to go on vacation and (b) the teachers cuz they didn’t have to work.

atlmom

March 8th, 2013
2:55 pm

but then again, most of schooling is done the way it was done 120 years ago. not much changes. except that kids now (and not so much then) are put together by age, not ability. which makes things horrible for the kids. and the teachers.

Logical Dude

March 8th, 2013
2:56 pm

quote: “the schedules are tough on parents who cannot take the time off and have to find child care for their kids. ”

How is a year-round schedule any tougher than a regular schedule when kids should be attending school the same number of days each year?

They’d get the same number of days off each year, resulting in the same number of “OMG, the kids are out of school, what AM I TO DO???” whines from the parents.

Help me understand how it’s more difficult for working parents either way.

Calendar

March 8th, 2013
2:59 pm

No – it shouldn’t be a consideration which will be demonstrated by the number of different opinions in response to this article. Too many people involved with too many different work considerations.

ABC

March 8th, 2013
3:01 pm

Logical: because there are WAY more options in the summer months than in a Feb week.

d

March 8th, 2013
3:07 pm

“Life is not divided into semesters, and you don’t get summers off. Not even Easter break. They expect you to show up every day. For eight hours. And you don’t get a new life every 10 weeks. It just goes on and on.”

This is from that list that is supposedly attributed to Bill Gates (although it wasn’t him who really said it). Schools aren’t supposed to operate for the convenience of the parents. Frankly, schools should help prepare students for life outside of school, and we are setting them up for failure when looking at how life really operates. Oh well.

justme

March 8th, 2013
3:08 pm

Logical Dude – you must not have kids. Try getting any type of care for kids for one week only. In the traditional year, with the longer summer, programs like the Boys & Girls Club and YMCA offer summer-long programs. They hire staff and put together programs for 10 – 12 weeks. College kids are available to staff them at decent rates. With a week off here and another there, those programs can’t be offered – no college students to staff them, and they aren’t worth setting up – too much paperwork for just one week.
The traditional calendar with the longer summer offers time for Scout camp, band camp, vacation bible school and family vacations. There is a lot of “learning” that goes on over the summer.

atlmom – sure, send kids back to school when it is sooo hot, and let our broke school systems pay the utilities! Yeah, that makes a lot of sense – NOT!

Maureen Downey

March 8th, 2013
3:09 pm

@Logical: It is far easier to find child care throughout the summer than during an odd week in September, October or February. Along with camps at almost every church and rec center, there are summer sports camps. There are overnight camps in the summer. In addition, there are neighborhood pools and library programs.
Having look at options for kids in mid September and mid February, there is not much out there if you can’t take the week off or can’t hire someone.
Maureen

atlmom

March 8th, 2013
3:13 pm

d: it was from a speech by Neal Boortz.

Maureen: but if the school DID have those weeks off – lots of places would come out with a camp for that week. the people who run all those places are not stupid. heck, even teachers put together week camps for weeks off….

Patrick Edmondson

March 8th, 2013
3:16 pm

Summer WAS the time students made real life applications of learning to reinforce the classroom. Now non-adults are either warehoused with videos, or kept in coddled environments where all activities are prepackaged with no surprises. Even athletics are adult micro-managed. The constructivist model of education works best. In this model students are assisted in creating and building with adult help, not controlled ‘guidance’ at every step. This makes you learn co-operation and teamwork to take responsibility to solve tasks and complete projects, much as the real world requires of adults.

Mountain Man

March 8th, 2013
3:18 pm

“Shouldn’t public school calendars take needs of working parents into consideration?”

Damn right. The “balanced” calendar is harder on working parents. According to the research, it doesn’t improve learning. The only people who like it: the teachers.

Mountain Man

March 8th, 2013
3:20 pm

If you truly want to go to “year-round” schooling, then do it right. Require students to attend school 250 days a year (and teachers to teach that many). You only get 2 weeks off at the time of your choosing. Just like in the “real world”.

Chris

March 8th, 2013
3:24 pm

Summer hunger is also a factor. Kids that receive breakfast and lunch in school often don’t visit a summer feeding site. Something like 80% of students who get free/reduced lunch in school don’t participate in summer feeding in GA. For working poor families, this is a big cost they have to absorb. Often they can’t so the children suffer nutritionally.

Let’s start caring about kids more than politics, more than the choices their parents made.

Mountain Man

March 8th, 2013
3:24 pm

“(all the studies I’ve read indicated that students lose A LOT of knowledge over the summer, so the year round calendar tries to minimize that).”

If you read the results of recent studies, you see that they find almost NO difference between calendars. From a historical side, back in the sixties, we had long summers and our student achievement was BETTER than today. WE didn’t forget over the summer. (I haven’t forgotten my multiplication tables in 40 years of a “long summer”.)

dc

March 8th, 2013
3:25 pm

“The reality is that there simply isn’t any substantial research that says if you take the same number of days and permute them over different calendars, that the learning outcomes are appreciably different,” Superintendent Erroll Davis said during a recent board work session. “There are more important factors than the calendar. And that is the quality of the principal and the quality of the teachers.”

But wait….I thought it was the parents fault, and teachers couldn’t overcome social and family issues? Which is it? You mean, 1) getting rid of the few but incredibly dangerous awful teachers, and 2) financially rewarding the great teachers, might actually be a good idea?

Just Sayin.....

March 8th, 2013
3:26 pm

The traditional school calendar was set up 120 years ago to serve working parents; those parents just happened to be farmers.

BINGO. And unless it can be PROVEN that academic achievement is higher for the year round school, there is no logical reason to prefer it over another system that would make life easier on working parents.

Mountain Man

March 8th, 2013
3:26 pm

“Summer hunger is also a factor. Kids that receive breakfast and lunch in school often don’t visit a summer feeding site.”

Summer Feeding Site? You have GOT to be kidding me! Are we now resorting to feeding kids like wild animals at a bird feeder? Where are there parents that believe that other expenses trump food for their kids? (drugs?)

Matt321

March 8th, 2013
3:31 pm

I’m calling baloney on the easy access to camps for working parents in the summer time. Camps are expensive. Maybe if you’re well off you can arrange to ship your kids off for 12 weeks at a time. Meanwhile, in the real world, many kids sit at home as latch key kids, and their parents do the best they can to make sure they are safe, entertained, and fed.

If they wanted to take working parents into account, school would be year round. I’d agree with something like what Mountain Man said (although I’d quibble over the time off – I’d say at least 2 weeks off for sick days, and 4-6 weeks off for vacation time).

It’s bizarre that school still is run by what used to be useful for farmers. Well, about as bizarre as treating everyone born between two arbitrary dates as a single, identical cohort, expected to make the same progress in the same (pre-chosen) subjects over the course of a single year.

Also, I know that the Atlanta schools are saying that there’s no evidence, but where’s there evidence for no evidence? Have they controlled for differences in income between those two schools? What about the fact that a large percentage of kids are apparently skipping the first few weeks of school, thus making the school not year-round for them?

A Dekalb Resident

March 8th, 2013
3:31 pm

“There is no more hard science behind the traditional calendar than there is behind the year-round or modified schedule so why shouldn’t schools create calendars that work best for their parent communities?”

Answer: Because educrats have forgotten that parents and their children are the stakeholders in these institutions. DeKalb adopted the balanced schedule in the face of overwhelming parent opposition. Frankly, if Michael Thurmmond wanted a ’softball’ to make himself look good, he’d go back to the traditional schedule.

Good article, Maureen.

Elaine

March 8th, 2013
3:31 pm

@justme: It actually costs more to heat a school in February than to cool it in August. Just look at Cobb’s study. It SAVED the system a little ofer $60K in utilities to start earlier and have a break in February.

@ABS: Not everyone in Cobb felt the same way you did about the Balanced Calendar.

Real life

March 8th, 2013
3:35 pm

There are a number of considerations that go into deciding on a school calendar and parents are one of them. Yes, our school year in the US was originally set up to accommodate farmers–back in the years when we were a heavily agrarian society. But using that historical background as an argument for a specific schedule these days is rather weak.

Our culture is now much more diverse. Most students have at least one parent that works. And those jobs will run the gamut from minimum wage positions to those making a great deal of money. Which parents do we take into consideration? Which ones should be overlooked in planning?

I think, as a teacher who has worked on both the traditional and year-long school schedules, that year round schedules are better for the students. Habits and skills are not lost over short breaks.

And, let’s face it, do you really believe much of what APS has to say about student achievement?

Chamblee Dad

March 8th, 2013
3:36 pm

Not a huge factor overall, but Mountain Man & I had this discussion elsewhere recently – at the high school level – a full-time summer job was a significant factor in my “real-world” education. Although I joked that the main thing I learned from my job working in glue factory in Dalton, GA, (made tack strip too), was that I REALLY wanted to get at least a college degree, if not higher, it was the truth. And it was a way to earn a liittle $$. True for almost all my friends.

Chamblee Dad

March 8th, 2013
3:38 pm

I’m with you Mountain Man – exactly what is a “summer feeding site?”

mom of two

March 8th, 2013
3:50 pm

Absolutely not. Schools should consider the needs of the children, not the parents. Contrary to popular belief, schools are meant to educate our children; they are not free babysitting centers. The same people/libraries/businesses who offer summer camps also offer camps during spring break, winter break or any other week off school. They don’t care if it’s summer or the dead of winter. Outdoor activities are just as easily enjoyed when it’s cold outside as when it’s miserably hot and humid (probably more enjoyed in the winter). Staffing for the camps/alternative day care is just as easy to find during the winter, spring and fall as it is during the summer. For example, many teachers are always looking to supplement their incomes and are already frequently a large part of camp staffs. It sounds like pure laziness on the part of parents who are demanding schools cater to their preferred time off schedule. Parents should be more concerned about what’s best for their children and what schedule will provide them with the best quality of education they can get than what days of the year their kids get off school. And, no, I’m not a SAHM. I’m a single parent (children’s father is deceased) who works full time. Available and good quality child care when the kids are not in school is also very important to me.

William Casey

March 8th, 2013
3:55 pm

@Mountain Man: Is your real name “Grinch?” LOL

Summer Day Camps are NOT expensive when compared to individual baby sitters for a random week (if you can find one.) There was Vacation Bible School back in the day. Probably still exist and dirt cheap. My Mom sent me to Baptist, Methodist and Lutheran versions several Summers. No wonder I’m a Deist!

One thing against a truely balanced schedule, at least in affluent areas, is that school attendance is secondary to family vacations.

BTW– children are NOT simply “little adults” as some here seem to think.

jarvis

March 8th, 2013
3:57 pm

I get tired of catering to people that can’t afford things.

Call me a snob, but because I can afford vacations, I’m not willing to vote for a calendar that suits those of you that can’t.

Where were you when I was putting myself through grad school?

justme

March 8th, 2013
4:02 pm

Elaine, get your facts straight. This is from the Cobb school board:
“Banks said the current balanced calendar will save the district $62,333 in utility costs, but Bartlett has said the district would save $500,000 in utility costs by starting two weeks later in August.”

Which is greater? $500,000 or $62,333?

jarvis

March 8th, 2013
4:06 pm

@justme, you asked the wrong question?
How can two mutually exclusive things possibly both save money when compared to each other?

Which seems like a more accurate statement?

BlahBlahBlah

March 8th, 2013
4:08 pm

“Those parents have few good options for their kids compared to the summer when there are many camps.”

I believe the free market would solve that problem in no time. If there’s a need for camps during those mid-year breaks, some enterprising souls will find a way to fill those needs.

ABC

March 8th, 2013
4:11 pm

Elaine: I KNOW I am not. Most of the East Cobb Snobs LOVED it. They could afford to go to Disney on an off season, skiing in February, and the beach during Spring Break. Me? I had to scramble for day care so I could do my job. And before you say anything: I live in East Cobb, so I know how my neighbors felt about it.

jarvis

March 8th, 2013
4:11 pm

Blah is right. If the entire metro area published calendars a year in advance providing weeks off, how long would it take before day cares….camp providers….etc. began providing services and activities during those times?

It’s ignorant to assume those business owners would miss out on the revune lost by having the kids back in school during the summer.

jarvis

March 8th, 2013
4:13 pm

Pride and Joy

March 8th, 2013
4:14 pm

These ridiculous changes to calendars are infuriating. There are NO OPTIONS for working parents to get a camp or a babysitter for a week here and there.
Camps cannot possibly ramp up for more than 50,000 kids. What is particularly infuriating is that the schools choose the after care programs and allow them to smugly say “when the school is closed, we’re closed.” So for every teacher’s day off, every week break and so on…working parents have no options.
My mom and dad are elderly, frail and in very poor health. I take care of them AND my small children like many, many working mothers do. I don’t have a spare set of hands to take my kids whenever I need to.
Schools should REQUIRE those after care school programs to be OPEN when the school is closed so that the people paying for the schools can keep their jobs and continue paying for the schools.
And let’s get another thing straight — NONE of this calendar stuff is made for the best interests of the kids. No kid forgets what they learned over the Summer. Those who start off the year behind are behind because they never learned what they should have learned in the first place. For those chronically behind kids — send them to Summer school.
All the calendar changes benefit one group — TOURISM. I am certain the connected school board members are in cahoots with the chamber of commerce to give more time for affluent parents to vacation in GA and other places. I talked to one mom who doesn’t work and she liked the changes because she could go to the mountains in Aspen and ski during the February break — good for her — but she isn’t the one paying for the schools. We middle class taxpaying adn WORKING AMERICANS pay for schools.
If you don’t work, if you are not employed, you shouldn’t even have a say so. WE WORKING TAX PAYING parents are paying for all the schools; we need and deserve a school board to accomodate us and yes I mean accomodate us by requiring all school after care prgorams to ramp up and be open during breaks.
APS needs to get their head out of their butts and do what’s right for the KIDS and for the people who pay for the schools.

jarvis

March 8th, 2013
4:15 pm

And there you have it….ABC the first of the have-nots to start the name calling.

Hey Teacher

March 8th, 2013
4:19 pm

I work on a modified year round calendar — the camps are starting to become more available to fill the needs of working parents for elementary students now that we’ve been on it for a few years. However, the middle grade options are seriously lacking — and frankly those options are lacking for parents even in the summer (or are super expensive or fill up more quickly). I’d like to see us taking advantage of the extra breaks by offering some site based opportunities (tutoring, SAT prep, sports camps) but that would cost money that most systems don’t have.

justme

March 8th, 2013
4:20 pm

jarvis, those calendars ARE already posted a year in advance. The reason those camps don’t exist is because the college students that staff them (at lower wages, that make camp affordable) are in school. College students are off during the summer, providing the labor pool to make camps happen.

jarvis

March 8th, 2013
4:20 pm

@Pride and Joy, the day camps couldn’t ramp up for a week because…..?

Conventions….sporting events…..holiday shoppers…..Mardi Gras……the list goes on and on for things that get ramped up for one week with enough notice.

By the way, I’m guessing my property value is somewhat higher than yours….I have a feeling I pay more for the schools than you.

jarvis

March 8th, 2013
4:24 pm

The reason those camps don’t exist is because there aren’t enough schools systems following the same calendar. Not enough business to make it worthwhile.

As for labor, high school students come even cheaper than college ones.

Pride and Joy

March 8th, 2013
4:27 pm

To all of those clueless people who think camps will just “spring up” to accomodate breaks…consider this FACT (not made up dream wishes) –
Camps DONT accomodate school breaks now.
When school is closed, camps are closed. Look at all the time now when school is closed but working parents have to go to work — Tgiving, Christmas, camps aren’t open then! They are off work too — and forget babysitters — they want a break from s chool as well.
I can tell all those “free market will take care of it” peop
le obviously DON’T work and aren;t in business.
My kids went to gymnastic and circus camps. They cannot possibly just hire more pepole — they don’t have the physical space to accomodate the extra kids! Well, duh. one cannot just stretch the Atlanta Gymnastics center and even the dullest dullard knows that it isn’t going to biuld an extra building kand hire more people for a couple weeks a year — and where would you even put it?
No, this calendar change is an obvious attempt by the chamber of commerce to try to get more tourism money — send people shopping and spending money instead of going to school.
doesn’t everyone realize what Spring Break in APS is all about? Why in the world would you have a week long break just a month before school is out? Why not just stay in school and let the kids out one week earlier?
Because every condo and hotel and tourist trap wants more money.
It’s all about money.
It’s not about the kids.

Pride and Joy

March 8th, 2013
4:30 pm

Jarvis, if you’re implying that you’re rich…well, you’re making my point for me.
And, no my property taxes are 5k on one home in APS and 3K in dekalb.
I am in no way rich. I struggle and that’;s the point.l
WE middle class Americans already pay more than our share. For idiots like you and APS to schedule a calendar, well, you just keep on being an idiot.

catlady

March 8th, 2013
4:34 pm

When my family moved “north” to Alabama, the county schools were still on “cotton pickin’ time”. Kids got off for planting cotton, picking cotton, and chopping cotton.

Going to a more balanced claendar would make getting the continuing ed for teachers much more difficult. AND it has not been shown to help (if you don’t teach to MASTERY, not much matters anyway). In addition, I would think it would be more difficult to find childcare in a year round calendar. Finally, let’s crank those air conditioner units up for an additional 8 weeks during h3ll-hot Georgia summers, and pay the bill! We cannot even pay for school now!

And, no, mountain man, most teachers would NOT like year round schedule! After subjugating their children’s needs for 10 months to instruct and take care of the children of others, they need time with their families!

This is Mrs. Norman Maine

March 8th, 2013
5:33 pm

I am perfectly capable of providing child care for my one remaining child at home throughout the year so my concern is not related to that. I just hate the idea of kids going to school during the summer, it’s against nature. I would like to schedule my vacation in August for a change if I want to. Also, my kid is not the only who needs a break from the gruel of the school year, I need a break from school and all the crap that goes along with it namely meeting, assemblies, homework and projects. I see no value in year-round school, if you’re afraid your kid is going to forget everything in only 3 months you can buy them workbooks to work in. And maybe, just maybe you should make them read a book during the summer. Problem solved.

DunMoody

March 8th, 2013
5:42 pm

I would wholeheartedly support a traditional calendar – starting after Labor Day – for educational, recreational, and financial reasons. Education: the blasted test-oriented curriculum leaves little room for creative exploration of the arts, deeper study in something a kid hasn’t really mastered, and computer technology. Summers are ideal for those programs. Recreational: kids need time to get bored. That’s how they learn to LEARN. Financial: why in the world are we in the south paying the high air conditioning bills, putting kids on superheated buses, and playing outdoor sports IN AUGUST?

Bring back summer school for the kids who fail classes, while we’re at it.

Yes, I know all this isn’t feasible since apparently a billion dollar budget can’t cover our needs and wants in DeKalb County (sarcasm, Sheldon).