To the editor: Worried about school calendar
October 21, 2015
To the editor:
One school district goal is "reconnecting with the community." Back in May, two new proposed calendars were given to the school board. Five months later, administration has yet to release them to the community for input.
After obtaining a copy of the new options, a group of parents and teachers contributed concerns and a copy of the calendar to the paper. Unfortunately, the community is still in the dark.
Our number one priority is that our children get quality education. These calendar options will only enhance the community contention and frustration it has towards the district. We don't agree with administration that an extended calendar is an innovative way to increase student achievement. Students only average being in school 16 days a month in their five-day option. In 42 weeks of school, only 19 would be full weeks of continual instruction time. The proposed four-day calendar is even worse. Student days would average 14.5 days per month. Both options give the kids LESS class room time, but extend the calendar three weeks earlier in August and two weeks into June. Both options have too many days off during the school year, leading to non-consistent instruction time.
Administrators claim research shows long summer breaks causes academic backsliding. We find that contradictive, believing that kids will backslide more when having only 19 weeks of constant, uninterrupted education. Every time they have a break in their schedule, they face transition challenges of constantly adjusting from being on break to being back to school, with no consistency, stability, focus, or student buy in to learn. We all know the week before Christmas break and the week after, is non-productive for teachers and students. Imagine that every month. This will minimize student's academic achievement beyond acceptance.
Not to mention other concerns: students in semester courses will have approximately four weeks less instruction time; these calendars assume every standard can be taught and mastered in two weeks; teachers will have to spend a lot more time reviewing previously taught material to catch back up; the strong probability drop-out rates will increase, more kids will opt to homeschool, attend Goal Academy, or transfer to Hayden; over 250 kids will miss the first week while attending Fair; kids will have a harder time finding summer jobs; school buildings are not equipped with proper air conditioning to handle August heat making for poor teaching and learning conditions; infringement on family time; difficulty for parents to find daycare for just one week a month and random days the students aren't in school; only a few selected teachers had input while the majority still have not seen the options; and teachers opposed are scared to speak out.
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