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Old 11-18-2009, 08:02 AM
 
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Does anyone know how I can access the email petition concerning the adopted school calendar for Cobb County?

I'm a parent opposed to the new changes because of additional burdens on working parents, increased utilties costs for the district (it simply costs more to cool schools in August than in May or June), financial losses for Georgia tourism industries, and disregard for the will of many parents and students.

Thanks for your help.
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Old 11-18-2009, 08:03 AM
 
Location: a warmer place
1,748 posts, read 4,925,953 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mhesplin View Post
Does anyone know how I can access the email petition concerning the adopted school calendar for Cobb County?

I'm a parent opposed to the new changes because of additional burdens on working parents, increased utilties costs for the district (it simply costs more to cool schools in August than in May or June), financial losses for Georgia tourism industries, and disregard for the will of many parents and students.

Thanks for your help.
check your private messages
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Old 11-18-2009, 08:17 AM
 
Location: East Cobb
2,206 posts, read 6,065,346 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mhesplin View Post
Does anyone know how I can access the email petition concerning the adopted school calendar for Cobb County?

I'm a parent opposed to the new changes because of additional burdens on working parents, increased utilties costs for the district (it simply costs more to cool schools in August than in May or June), financial losses for Georgia tourism industries, and disregard for the will of many parents and students.

Thanks for your help.
Although you didn't ask for comments on the calendar selection, my opinion of it is different, and furthermore I am struck by one part (the part I've bolded above) in the original post.

All I've ever read previously from the vociferous group who want to see school starting after Labor Day, is that they want students out of school from Memorial Day to Labor Day. In my opinion, that's an insanely long break and incompatible with the goal of academic improvement.

In British Columbia, where I'm from, the school year starts after Labor Day and ends at the very end of June, so the summer vacation is just two months long, not three. If the "no school in August" party is willing to see students in school all of June, I would be much more sympathetic to their view. (However, I doubt that's the case).

I think the new calendar choice is academically best. Cherokee County has had it for seven or eight years, and apparently the working parents there are managing to survive. We can't expect the schools to magically improve Georgia's poor standing on standardized tests, compared with other states, while objecting to initiatives that are expected to provide academic benefit. The balanced calendar was allegedly the teachers' majority choice. I approve of the school board having given a lot of weight to teacher opinion.
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Old 11-18-2009, 12:25 PM
 
Location: West Cobb County, GA (Atlanta metro)
9,188 posts, read 30,179,946 times
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I think if most were to read up on the school schedules in other countries they'd find that even with any proposed alterations, we have it pretty easy here (as well as some of the lowest test scores of the industrial nations, too): Academic term - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 11-18-2009, 01:06 PM
 
Location: Mableton, GA USA (NW Atlanta suburb, 4 miles OTP)
11,319 posts, read 22,438,186 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RainyRainyDay View Post
All I've ever read previously from the vociferous group who want to see school starting after Labor Day, is that they want students out of school from Memorial Day to Labor Day. In my opinion, that's an insanely long break and incompatible with the goal of academic improvement.
FWIW, the public schools in Minnesota seem to follow a schedule which is very close to those dates, and they seem to have very few issues with it.

School up there typically starts after Labor Day and ends the first week in June. There are some exceptions this year due to construction issues and other things (e.g., City of Minneapolis schools).

I don't thing the calendar is really the issue for schools which aren't doing an adequate job of educating kids.
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Old 11-18-2009, 01:27 PM
 
13,458 posts, read 21,939,367 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rcsteiner View Post
FWIW, the public schools in Minnesota seem to follow a schedule which is very close to those dates, and they seem to have very few issues with it.

School up there typically starts after Labor Day and ends the first week in June. There are some exceptions this year due to construction issues and other things (e.g., City of Minneapolis schools).

I don't thing the calendar is really the issue for schools which aren't doing an adequate job of educating kids.
Well, most schools (if not all) need to have 180 days of school...I don't know how Minnesota does it...

In the Northeast U.S., schools start after Labor Day or just before...but school ends in late June...mid-June at the earliest.
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Old 11-18-2009, 01:42 PM
 
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In terms of academic achievement, the type of calendar is irrelevant. Research shows over and over again that is the number of days (and probably total hours) that matter. Most industrialized nations have at least 220 days in their calendar and often longer days at that. What RainyRainyDay is talking about will never happen here -- we don't have the will to pay for it.

The only time the calendar may play a role is when/if the school system can afford to provide additional remediation during the shorter (and longer) breaks.

As a parent whose kids often spent summers in far off places, I despise the earlier start dates. I would much rather they be in school in June than early August. Many programs don't start until the end of June as the midwest and northeastern schools don't get out until then.

Next year in Metro Atlanta, Cobb, Fulton, DeKalb, and Gwinnett will all have different start dates. It should wreck havoc with teachers who live in one county but teach in another as well as places like White Water, Six Flags,etc.
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Old 11-18-2009, 02:33 PM
 
102 posts, read 349,433 times
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Default Calendars Don't Affect Achievement

Here is the study... it says it all. This is the largest and most validated study to date on school calendars.

Year-round Schools Don't Boost Learning, Study Finds

Calendar doesn't affect student achievement (unless you add more actual days). Teaching quality does affect achievement.

If someone has the time, I challenge you to check test scores in the metro counties that have gone to a balanced calendar. Achievement has not improved in any significant way in those districts. I have done the research.

Now, if folks want to go to a balanced or year around.. or some other calendar for some other reason (such as to attract quality teachers), fine... do it. But don't wave the better achievement banner... it will lose every time.
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Old 11-18-2009, 05:15 PM
 
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I always thought that attracting higher quality teachers was the primary reason for giving in to the teacher's union on calendar issues. Didn't do any solid research on it though.

More actual teaching days would be great, and would undoubtedly go a long way towards reaching the goal of raising Georgia K12 academic competitiveness in the nation and world. That, however, would definitely not bring quality educators running.

I'm with lastminutemom, I hate this whole first weekday of August start date.
Drop the ridiculous Fall break, midwinter break, and "oh, have we gone to school for a whole month straight?" breaks.
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Old 11-18-2009, 05:39 PM
 
Location: a warmer place
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I don't like the early start date. Otherwise I don't have issues with the calendar. I voiced my opinion early on for the Aug 16 (the latest date offered as an option) simply because most of our family is in the Northeast and Midwest. Really the calendar was very similar to this year otherwise. I was hoping to have some more overlap and avoid traveling the the most expensive plane ticket travel time of the year.....July.

Also I am very frustrated with our school board rep David Banks who campaigned with a promise of a later start date...probably to win the votes of people transplanted here with family in other parts of the country like myself. He did an about face this time around. I did not appreciate that.

I don't think changing the calendar will make any difference academically. Overall I have been happy with the teaching here in East Cobb but some of the policies and attitudes in GA are so far behind the rest of the country. I can't see the system improving until these fundamentals are changed....and I don't see that happening anytime soon.
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