Much Needed Calendar Changes

Posted: March 5, 2015 in Uncategorized

The current school calendar is based off of old beliefs and ideas. . . . So what is my solution? I’m glad you asked.

So the past few years we have seen how many students are affected by snow and how they are not in school. I know that we cannot change weather patterns, but maybe we need to adjust the schedule some.

I know that schools had summers off because it was very hot and schools were not air-conditioned, well, now most are.

We also see a trend of how students lose so much information over the long summer break. Which is why we see so many schools really promoting summer school.

Also, many schools have students who are absent for long periods of time during the school year because that is the “off time” for parents and they travel out of the country in order to visit family. Summer time is the time that these parents have a chance to make more money, so traveling during the school year makes sense.

All of these things factor in to why schools are failing in the government’s eyes. How can we change this?

There is no perfect answer to all of these things, but maybe this could be a helpful change.

We start the school year on August 1. Yes, I know that scares some people and they don’t get the summer off, but keep reading. Parent-Teacher-Student conferences will happen around Labor Day. That gives us the chance to get to know the students a little before setting up goals. Yes, PTS conferences is setting goals, not talking about failing students.

In October, we would be reaching the end of the first 9 week period. So on the calendar, there are 2 weeks off. Now during the first week, students who were struggling or missed school could come in and make up missing work or time. Teachers could volunteer (with pay) to help catch students up. Students who are doing well and have a grasp of the school year would get the 2 weeks off. Teachers also would have the time off from students to start structuring the next 9 week period and also have some down/family time.

Around the middle of October, we start the second 9 week period. We would have a week off for Thanksgiving because so many people travel and need that time. We also would have 3 weeks off at Christmas. Again, there are so many who travel and it would also help teachers have down time and begin to plan for the spring.

Now, if you do the math, you know that we would have 2 weeks left of the the second quarter in January. That’s ok. We don’t need semester tests, so it would be a time to revisit topics from before the long break and help students have a good grasp before ending the semester.

Around Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, we would begin the 3rd 9 week period. Around President’s Day we have PTS Conferences again. This is a chance to revisit the goals set back in September and see how the student is progressing. It’s also a chance to set goals for the spring semester.

Around the end of March/beginning of April, we have our spring break. Just like we had in October, the students have 2 weeks off. The first week being a chance for students to catch up. Since there would be students absent during the winter due to traveling, this gives them a chance to catch up and not just be behind.

After the 2 week off period we start the 4th nine weeks. During this time, students would be showing what they have learned. It would be a chance to also get outside for learning. (Yes, you can have lessons outside!) Since the weather is much nicer during this time, many classes could be showing how their subjects can be seen outside.

This would lead us going into June to end the school year. However, since most buildings now have air-conditioning, you can have school go a little longer. If needed, you can shorten the school day and release around 1, so that students can go home and not be in a hot building.

The school year would end around the middle/end of June. Is that a bad thing? No, because we had breaks during the school year. This is leading a little toward a year round school year, but that’s ok. We need to help students know that learning happens all the time and not just inside the school walls.

Why do I see this not happening though? It would effect sports schedules. Now that is a whole other conversation that I don’t wish to talk about right now . . . other than maybe sports should not be associated with schools, but then I’d be stepping on toes.

What do you think? Is there a simple solution to our school schedule? What do you see that would help with students attending class and also retaining information?


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