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Old 08-29-2017, 10:44 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zenstyle View Post
I don't have kids, but I was one, once.

Seems like kids should be able to count on a solid three summer months off from school: June, July and August.
This doesn't mean three months of doing nothing, but ideally:
Three weeks in June for paid work (whatever the kid is capable of at their age.)
Three weeks of camp in July. Learn to swim, learn to paddle a canoe, learn to hike, and make new, non-school friends.
Three weeks in August for travel.
That leaves one week in each summer month for bike riding, messing around, and farting around.
LOL. Hey, I'd like that schedule! I think you may be looking at your past (maybe a recent one) with rosy colored glasses. I don't know any schools that start in September that end before May. Also, most families need two incomes to survive so it's another pipe dream to have Superparent stay home to facilitate that fun period. Affording three weeks of camp and three weeks to travel is hoping for the Superparent family to be super-rich. Love the dream though!
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Old 08-29-2017, 10:58 AM
 
Location: Northern Appalachia
3,989 posts, read 5,115,441 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by citizensadvocate View Post
This question would not had been asked about a few decades ago when the majority of school bells don't ring until the day after labor day.
I ran across a couple of my report cards from the 1961-62 and 1962-63 school years and we started on August 30 and August 31.

Quote:
Originally Posted by toobusytoday View Post
Pennsylvania schools must have 180 days. http://www.ecs.org/clearinghouse/95/05/9505.pdf There are zero states that I see that have less than 175 days. Some say N/A, but none say 158.

There's no way to get that many days in if you end at memorial day. Our schools started yesterday (August 28) and will end June 6. The latter is a tentative date, depending on snow. Kids have a short winter break from the 25th (Christmas is on a Monday this year) through January 2. Spring break is the same as Presidents day weekend - three days. I would prefer a longer Spring break but we're tied into our local tech schools calendar and they coordinate with several school districts.

The start and end dates for schools are very regional, but IMHO, it's very unfair when it comes to AP tests. Those test dates are set in stone and kids who have summer start dates can have a whole month more of instruction.
The PA Code mandates 180 days (or a minimum of 990 secondary or 900 elementary and 450 kindergarten hours of instruction) but most districts use Act 80 days to count as student days even though the students don't attend schools those days. Some districts actually have 175 student days and several will be half days.

Another issue with the AP exams is some teachers do not do any instruction after the AP exam is given. Last May, the AP Chemistry exam was given on May 1. The students just hung out for those six periods a week until school ended the first week of June. The exams are six days later in 2018.
 
Old 08-29-2017, 11:24 AM
 
Location: East Coast
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phetaroi View Post
In other words, almost everyone wants what they grew up with.
That's exactly the issue. I was on a calendar committee for our previous school district, and it was a nightmare. First of all, really what would be optimal is year round school with 2-3 week breaks throughout the year. That almost totally eliminates the achievement gap between rich and poor. But, because summer vacation is so romanticized and nostalgic, in most places, this is simply never going to happen.

In my previous district, people wanted to get out at the earliest possible date, and start at the latest date, but if they had to compromise, they would sacrifice the start date. They were hell bent on getting out as early as possible. I don't understand why, but they were. (To me, I love the beach and the water is warmest in August -- it's often still too cold in June. But all these ridiculously early start dates in parts of the country have saved me quite a bit of money -- I get some bargain rates at many beach areas in August, which is my preferred time to go to the beach, anyway.)

I have always heard that the post-labor day start statutes were driven by the beach tourist industry in those states. I'm not certain if there are other justifications.

In that old district, people were so adamant about getting out as early as possible in June, they were willing to sacrifice spring break. So there was an anemic spring break, basically making a long weekend out of Easter weekend. I found this terrible, because that meant there was no way you could ever have a family vacation to escape the winter weather and go to someplace warm and sunny anytime after Christmas until mid June. You could take kids out in elementary school, but by the time they're in high school, they miss too much and catching up is often not worth it to them. I hated the schedule. But, at least they did start close to September 1 -- most often the week before Labor Day (although then they'd give off the Friday before Labor Day).

Now, I live in an area where we start after Labor Day, have a week or so off around Christmas, a week off in February and a week off in April. I love, love, love this schedule. It gives two chances to get away (even if we don't actually go anywhere). We do go fairly late in June -- we got out June 23 this past year. It might be nice to get out a week earlier, but I'm happy to trade that week in June for the two weeks we get that give an opportunity to vacation when the weather is trying here.
 
Old 08-29-2017, 11:51 AM
 
546 posts, read 212,527 times
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I just saw on the news that San Diego Unified which only begin to start before Labor Day for its second year in history now has to contend with a serious heat issue this week due to the heat wave hitting California and the west. Classroom time has been cut to half day especially in schools that are not fully air conditioned and sports activities, PE, and other outdoor events have to be rescheduled, shortened, or cancelled all together this week. This proves starting early is a waste of time. Also this trend had increased back to school absenteeism as some parents may not have realized school has started or have nonrefundable vacations departing early for Labor Day. There are also those who do work in Mexico to support their families and could not return until September 1.

I noticed some posters mentioning states with set hours of school. Seems a good idea. Maybe they can schedule the school day just a little longer to shorten the year a little bit and to have time to make up for any unexpected disruptions. I still don't understand isn't there a better standardized plan in much of the country to make up for lost school time by unexpected hiccups in the year. I.e extending each school period for a few minutes longer so teachers can cover what they missed due to the disruption.

In Canada at least in provinces such as British Columbia I heard from those who live there that standardized provincial exams and other exams are held at mid June. Therefore schools in that province follow the same schedule and all start after Labour Day, thats how they spell it up north. There is only minor discrepancy between school districts in terms of calendar unlike in much of the US with the exception of NYS, where I also have relatives who are teachers there standardlized tests are given after the school year in late June. Thats why in NYS unlike many other parts of the country there is no push for local school officials to race to begin their school years early. Which often results in an earlier end as well.

Though I would like to ask do you like having exams before Christmas break?

Though I do wonder are there ways to deal with the exams in January issue without making the school year start so early?
Luckily I never had to do projects during Christmas breaks back when I was in school, however I remember when they moved the start early from labor day to late august the exams were also a week or two earlier and only one or two weeks from Christmas break so I had to study for it before the break is over starting a few days before New Years Day.

The LA times article I read before, though it appears Torrance Unified stopped holding out this year. Though what the article doesn't mention is how districts in LA and Orange Counties held out for so long compared to the rest of the state to join the rat race to start earlier. As late as 2005 almost no district in this region started before labor day even though more districts in the rest of the state or about 70% of them had already been starting in August than in September that year.

I still remember those years in the 2000s when Raging waters San Jose had to close mid August due to schools starting in the Bay Area but Raging Water San Dimas still operated every day until Labor day. Of course nowadays even San Dimas has to end its daily operations mid August as schools in SoCal also embrace this early start tread and they lose most of their patronage as a result.

Last edited by citizensadvocate; 08-29-2017 at 12:08 PM..
 
Old 08-29-2017, 12:16 PM
 
1,598 posts, read 625,570 times
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I have a long memory and I can tell you that in my hometown the school board has been playing with start and end dates for as long as I can remember - from mid August to right after Labor Day, and from the last day of May to mid June.

From my own life, as a teenager I would have preferred an early start and an early finish, because you get a jump on trying to get a summer job. I distinctly remember being severely brassed-off in college when the last day of classes/finals was changed from a day or two before all the other colleges and high schools in the area, to a few days AFTER all the other colleges and high schools. Summer jobs? Forget about it, we already hired everyone.
 
Old 08-29-2017, 12:23 PM
 
Location: Boise, ID
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I don't understand why labor day has anything to do with school start. Our school district is currently trying to move the school year further forward in August, so that the 1st semester ends before winter break and the last day will move to late May. That sounds awesome. The weather is better here in May and June to vacation.
 
Old 08-29-2017, 12:49 PM
 
546 posts, read 212,527 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pooks1976 View Post
I don't understand why labor day has anything to do with school start. Our school district is currently trying to move the school year further forward in August, so that the 1st semester ends before winter break and the last day will move to late May. That sounds awesome. The weather is better here in May and June to vacation.
It seems that schools in much of the world or at least northern hemisphere start classes September 1 or first Monday of September. North America has historically chosen Labor Day as it marks the first full week of September and it would had made no sense to begin September 1 for two three days only to close again for a long weekend. Unless on years September 1 falls on a Tuesday.


Alas most kids would have very little vacation time after school is out for summer as they often have summer school these days. And the summer slide means less downtime between summer school and school. Interestingly due to increased mid session breaks, not many districts with early starts at least in CA break before Memorial Day but usually about a week afterward. Therefore turning Memorial Day into a study for finals holiday for most students.

Last edited by citizensadvocate; 08-29-2017 at 01:31 PM..
 
Old 08-29-2017, 01:11 PM
 
Location: Back in the Mitten. Formerly NC
3,582 posts, read 4,235,618 times
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By law, in Michigan, school starts after Labor Day. (Except year round schools) But, they don't get out until mid to late June.

I'm much more in favor of an August to May school year. School should be out the Friday before Memorial Day. Kids check out after that and teaching is near impossible.

Growing up in Michigan, we always went back at the end of August. The Labor Day law was put in place in either 2007 or 2008.
 
Old 08-29-2017, 01:17 PM
 
4,288 posts, read 2,037,778 times
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To clarify an earlier post. The issue wasn't feeding over summer; there is a program for that. But feeding during the long breaks. What was found is those who the long breaks were intended to help, through remediation and extra class time were not coming to school. Those who could afford vacations, took them, and those actually coming to school were not the ones who needed either remediation, nor special feeding.
 
Old 08-29-2017, 01:46 PM
 
Location: East Coast
1,973 posts, read 1,043,041 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by citizensadvocate View Post


Though I would like to ask do you like having exams before Christmas break?

Though I do wonder are there ways to deal with the exams in January issue without making the school year start so early?
Luckily I never had to do projects during Christmas breaks back when I was in school, however I remember when they moved the start early from labor day to late august the exams were also a week or two earlier and only one or two weeks from Christmas break so I had to study for it before the break is over starting a few days before New Years Day.
My kids haven't reached high school yet, so I only have my own memory of high school to go on, BUT, I had no issue with mid-terms/finals being held in January. As I recall they were the second or third week, so there was enough time to get back into the swing of things. I enjoyed December not being stressful and being able to spend more time thinking about fun holiday stuff. I didn't give a single thought to classes over my winter break. I think that if a school timed it so that tests were given the week after you came back from the Christmas break, that would ruin the break.
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