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Old 08-29-2017, 12:47 PM
 
Location: Volunteer State
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We teachers started back in late July (and have been for sometime now in TN) so the kids come back in early August. The main reason I see for this is at the HS level, in which most schools are on the block schedule. Doing so makes sure theres a blance of days both before and after Christmas break. It balances the semesters, making sure the biology class that ends in December has the same days as the one that starts in January and ends in May. That way the kids have roughly the same number of days for the standardized exams at the end of both semesters.
Actually, I think the 2nd semester is about 5 days longer, probably for snow days.

The state could do better in scheduling those exams to maximize the time we have to cover the material, but since they have to send the exams off to another state to be graded, they schedule them earlier than we'd like. And they still don't come back in a timely fashion.
The same could be said for many of the AP exams. They are kinda early in May, but I've used the extra time to do some of the more fun (& less important) labs, and for projects.

 
Old 08-29-2017, 01:22 PM
Status: "Prayers for the whole earth." (set 3 days ago)
 
Location: The New England part of Ohio
15,993 posts, read 19,027,224 times
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My kids graduated from college 4 and 2 years ago, and I totally disliked the "new" - to me - plan of starting before labor day, in public elementary and high schools and in colleges.

Why can't we just enjoy the rest of the Summer?

When I was growing up, we often took a late Summer vacation on Labor Day weekend. Now, that is impossible. I don't think children are focused for these first couple of days, either.

My first day of college was on Sept. 7th.

Both of my kids started in August.

Why?
 
Old 08-29-2017, 02:54 PM
 
1,076 posts, read 382,219 times
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There were no air conditioned schools when I was a student back in the old, old days. There's no way we could have gone to school in June, July or August. In the even older days, a lot of children didn't even come to school until the harvest season was over in October. They were needed on the farm.


We started the day after Labor Day and got out just in time for Memorial Day. We had a couple of "teacher work days", two days off at Thanksgiving, two weeks for Christmas and Good Friday and Easter week off. It was a long hard drag between Christmas and Easter break, but we made it. We came back from Christmas and knuckled down for the semester finals.


Summer was a blissful three months of just being a kid.
 
Old 08-29-2017, 04:21 PM
 
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our started last week, aug 7
 
Old 08-29-2017, 04:46 PM
 
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In the MidSouth school starts earlier and ends earlier. Plus they have to keep all the snow days they can in case a flake falls.
 
Old 08-29-2017, 05:41 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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OK, been gone all day. I'm just going to take some snippets from other posts to respond to.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tnff View Post

What they found instead was no improvement in academic outcomes, but increased costs for the district to keep the schools open and pay staff to hold special sessions during the breaks. And it appears there is some concern the most at risk population suffered negatively due to lack of school meals during those two week breaks.
Quote:
Originally Posted by TabulaRasa View Post
When I taught, it was in a year-round program, as my students benefitted from avoiding a several week long gap in routine and instruction.
The research on year round schools is equivocal. That's on the school district for having these extra sessions, tnff. I believe the food issue could be resolved by working with the Federal School Lunch Program.

Quote:
Originally Posted by yellowsnow View Post
Just speaking as someone who used to be a kid. I thought school should start the day after labor day and finish the last day of May. I always thought kids needed that break to just be kids for a while. Seems like summer vacations have gotten shorter and shorter over the years.
You're not a kid any more.

Quote:
Originally Posted by randomparent View Post
Unequivocally, YES! A midwinter holiday break is not a real break if your kids spend it working on projects or studying for semester exams.
My kids went to school on a schedule that held finals in mid-January. They never had a sh*t-ton of work to do over the holidays, projects due the first day or two back, and they did not study for finals over break. The district actually gave a day or two (can't remember exactly how many now) shortly before finals for that. If they had any homework at all over winter break, it was quite minimal and done the day before they went back to school. They were both honor students, BTW.

Quote:
Originally Posted by YITYNR View Post
Given the constraints I gave myself when making it (nice long breaks, no stupid days off, etc.) I managed to fit a total of 158 days onto the calendar.

And besides, the 180 day requirement is a bunch of nonsense anyway. See this article.
Nonsense or not, the law has to be followed.

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.
Most kids are not old enough to legally work until 14-16, depending on the state. What the heck kind of job do you think a kid is going to find for three weeks?

Quote:
Originally Posted by phetaroi View Post
In other words, almost everyone wants what they grew up with.
Quote:
Originally Posted by chicagoliz View Post
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.
Yep to both of you. I remember a friend of mine advocating for getting out before Memorial Day b/c that's the way they did it in Utah when she was in school. I don't get it. Here in the Denver metro area, late May, including Memorial Day, can be cold and rainy. It's not unusual to get snow in Mid-May, say, Mother's Day. Late August, OTOH, can be quite hot. This year, we had a taste of fall the middle couple weeks of August, and now it's hot again. Many of the older schools in our district are not air-conditioned, and even some of the newer ones are only partially A/C, e.g. offices, gym but not classrooms.

Thank G*d I've never been on a calendar committe, though I did speak to the district about it once, asking why all these holidays in winter (MLK Day/President's Day one of which was a four day weekend, then spring break the end of March, then NO days off till the end of school, which when my kids were there was about June 8. They did add a day off in April.

I have read, not sure if I could ever find it again, that the amusement park industry and the summer camp "industry" are opposed to earlier start dates.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TabulaRasa View Post
Three solid months hasn't been the case for many moons. Whenever I hear people grousing abut teachers and their coveted "three months off," I can only surmise that they don't have kids.
Agreed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by villageidiot1 View Post
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.

<snip>

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.
I graduated from HS in 1967 on June 1. We generally did not start before Labor Day however.

The AP sstuff is on the AP teachers. My kids took AP classes, and the teachers always taught after the exam. AP courses follow a very defined syllabus, the teachers used the extra time to teach stuff not on the syllabus. For ex, US history only went so far (can't remember now how far) so the teacher taught the rest of the story after the exam. My daughter's class staged a mock 60s-style protest, for example after the exam when studying the 60s and Vietnam. No one is taking 6 AP classes, either.

Quote:
Originally Posted by citizensadvocate View Post
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.
It is really hard to believe that parents did not know when the first day of school was, unless they are entirely clueless.

Quote:
Originally Posted by turf3 View Post
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.
Wouldn't you be looking for the job before you got out of school?

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's the last holiday weekend of the summer. Here in Colorado, lots of people like to go camping that weekend. It's kind of nice for the kids not to have HW to do, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tnff View Post
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.
Quote:
Originally Posted by chicagoliz View Post
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.
When my daughter went off to college and had finals before Christmas, she found it stressful to have to study and get ready for Christmas as well. She was out of state so that included making plane reservations home, etc. So maybe there's just not a good time for finals.

My kids' experience re: finals in January was as above.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sheena12 View Post
My kids graduated from college 4 and 2 years ago, and I totally disliked the "new" - to me - plan of starting before labor day, in public elementary and high schools and in colleges.

Why can't we just enjoy the rest of the Summer?

When I was growing up, we often took a late Summer vacation on Labor Day weekend. Now, that is impossible. I don't think children are focused for these first couple of days, either.

My first day of college was on Sept. 7th.

Both of my kids started in August.

Why?
Kids aren't focused the first few days whenever they are. My college always started the Tuesday after Labor Day. University of Colorado classes started Monday (Aug. 28).
 
Old 08-29-2017, 06:11 PM
 
3,743 posts, read 2,098,355 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katarina Witt View Post
No one is taking 6 AP classes, either.
My only quibble with your post is this. Quite few kids these days are, in fact, taking 5 or 6 or even 7 AP classes. There are lots of overachievers in our area, particularly Chinese and Korean students in Irvine and surroundings.
 
Old 08-29-2017, 06:40 PM
 
Location: Colorado
1,649 posts, read 2,659,145 times
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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.
Colorado's minimum is 160 days. However, hours are counted more than days, 1080 hours for secondary, 968 for elementary. We have several very rural districts which have four day weeks to save on gas money for the buses.

We have a modified year round schedule. We started Aug. 1 and end the Friday before Memorial Day, however, we have two weeks off between quarters. I love the calendar, however, I will say our test scores are not better than any other district with a "normal" calendar.
 
Old 08-29-2017, 06:45 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
81,156 posts, read 90,378,579 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saibot View Post
My only quibble with your post is this. Quite few kids these days are, in fact, taking 5 or 6 or even 7 AP classes. There are lots of overachievers in our area, particularly Chinese and Korean students in Irvine and surroundings.
OK, I stand corrected. If that's all you disagree with in my wall of post, I'd say we're pretty much on the same page! Nevertheless, the AP teachers should do some supplemental work after the exams. No district gets out May 1 (date of the tests).
 
Old 08-29-2017, 06:49 PM
 
1,277 posts, read 451,604 times
Reputation: 2353
Quote:
Originally Posted by saibot View Post
My only quibble with your post is this. Quite few kids these days are, in fact, taking 5 or 6 or even 7 AP classes. There are lots of overachievers in our area, particularly Chinese and Korean students in Irvine and surroundings.
I agree with you. I was in an IB program more than two decades ago. I also took 5 AP exams my senior year. Some students in IB took more (two decades ago!!!) I think students in IB in Florida, particularly the top ranked ones, now regularly finish with weighted GPAs well into the 7.0+ range because of all the AP courses they take on top of the IB classes. I taught SAT courses for a test prep company more than 10 years ago, and even then, kids were talking about how the most competitive children were signing up for AP courses through the virtual school and not telling anyone else so they could get more honors points than their classmates. I have a relative in Silicon Valley who indicates the schools there are pretty overachiever oriented as well. You apparently have to make sure it is not too much of a pressure cooker.

I haven't had a post-labor day start date (for anything) for years. In Florida, they have always started in August. After my freshman year more than 25 years ago, they switched the start date to be earlier so finals could be before the winter break, which was preferable. In the extreme overachiever group, people had a ton of work to do and most people had to study, which made break pretty unpleasant. I was not an extreme overachiever or an overachiever of any sort, but we still had lots of assignments to do since finals started a week after we got back. I think that hurricanes are extremely likely to happen the last week of August/first week of September, so having that as a start week for school is just not optimal in a hurricane prone area. I know we've had Frances, Katrina, Hermine, now Harvey. I think I went on a Labor Day trip and experienced the turnaround storm Isaac three times.
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