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Old 08-29-2017, 07:54 PM
 
Location: The analog world
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katarina Witt View Post
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).
My daughter's last AP test, Human Geo, was Friday, May 12th. I believe AP Calc was a couple of days prior to that. May 12th was also her last day of high school. Lower classmen had one more week of coursework, during which they reviewed for finals the following week. School was pretty much over for everyone by May 12th. All they had left were exams.

 
Old 08-29-2017, 07:56 PM
Status: "Not hardly" (set 23 days ago)
 
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
28,384 posts, read 34,355,125 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captain_hug99 View Post
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.
That's what a lot of "experts" posting on here don't know, that not only days but seat hours are counted (Maryland takes it down to seat minutes).

Also, the move to a shorter summer break was intended to help the same low performing cohorts that every single education reform over the last 30 years were aimed at to try to improve outcomes. They really haven't helped.

Kids spend X hours a day for X days a year in school. But when the day is done they go back to their homes (some of which change every few months) where there may not be dinner or a dinner that really isn't food, where the parents have never, not once ever, read to their kids. Where there are no books, magazines or even a Sunday paper. There might be internet but the kids likely can't access it.

We're talking about kids who come to school at 5 who don't know any colors, numbers or letters. Who, in some cases, are still in diapers, don't know their real name, have a vocabulary 1/3 that of other 5 year olds and who have zero knowledge of basic hygiene.
 
Old 08-29-2017, 07:59 PM
 
546 posts, read 212,083 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katarina Witt View Post
OK, been gone all day. I'm just going to take some snippets from other posts to respond to.



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.



You're not a kid any more.



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.



Nonsense or not, the law has to be followed.



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?



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.



Agreed.



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.



It is really hard to believe that parents did not know when the first day of school was, unless they are entirely clueless.



Wouldn't you be looking for the job before you got out of school?



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.





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.



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).
Sorry but I am confused at whether your post is for or against starting school in September.

The back to school absentism issue is real, Texans for a traditional school year states it so not just transplants from the north east who are moving in and settling during August but also migrant workers who must work in Mexico during summer. Schools also often must close for extreme heat waves and power failures during that extremely hot month. Utilities are also the highest in August whether schools have a/c or not.

Its True College and university students are most overwhelmed in the month between Thanksgiving and Christmas as finals are at that time. Now high school students the same.

The 180 day law is not set in stone and could be changed and really should be based on that article a poster wrote. It appears these days the makeup day is more of to meet a zero tolerance contract law than to help education. The contract law was made zero tolerance just because educators around country believe US students are getting too little school compared to other countries so they must get them to attend as much school as possible no and ifs or buts. Its a good thing California legislators were smart to waive the makeup day requirement for districts in the state back in 1990. Bet the 1989 Loma prieta quake helped the decision. its smart as every other contract law has a force majure exception. Though I believe school systems around the country should really think and plan better and more consistent ways to make up for school closures that actually benefits education lost those days i.e online teaching, extending the school periods on following days to allow teachers time to cover materials before the end of the term, etc. Making students stay in classrooms during what is supposed to be their day off and playing board games does nothing for education and no parent(s) would cancel a well planned trip just so their kids would sit in the classroom and play games, not learning.

I don't get where the students are doing projects over Christmas arguments are coming from. Or I am just lucky it never happened where I lived.

Students don't have to engage in paid work, many go on missionary trips or volunteer.
i remember summers being a busy time when I was a student. Half the summer was spent at summer school or some learning program, the other is at learning life skills, two weeks for family reunion, just two more weeks to catch up with games I long wanted to play during the school year but were not allowed time to. One or two weeks in August was the only time for family reunions for most relatives I have

I also agree that all these changes due to HS students finals and AP exams unfairly punishes the younger students who don't have such concerns. NYS seems to have their tests late in June so schools in this state won't push to start earlier. Their schools open later into June than the rest of the country though.

It was true there was a time when schools ended before Memorial Day and started after Labor Day in parts of the country. Even though it was not the case when I grew up living in various parts of California where summer begin June 16 and ended labor day but we had a lot of non holiday breaks in between, days that were used to train teachers.

Last edited by citizensadvocate; 08-29-2017 at 08:08 PM..
 
Old 08-29-2017, 08:00 PM
 
Location: Virginia
7,391 posts, read 11,174,191 times
Reputation: 3120
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.
Yes. Same here. 180 days. Any less would require a change in state law.
 
Old 08-29-2017, 08:01 PM
Status: "On Break" (set 7 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
81,413 posts, read 91,841,888 times
Reputation: 28071
Quote:
Originally Posted by RamenAddict View Post
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.
These weighted grades generally get unweighted by the colleges. I know people learn to game the system. That's why some schools have dropped valedictorian for a valedictory group.

Quote:
Originally Posted by randomparent View Post
My daughter's last AP test, Human Geo, was Friday, May 12th. I believe AP Calc was a couple of days prior to that. May 12th was also her last day of high school. Lower classmen had one more week of coursework, during which they reviewed for finals the following week. School was pretty much over for everyone by May 12th. All they had left were exams.
OK. However, many lower classmen are also taking AP classes. And if that's how it worked at your kids' school, that's fine.

However if school is getting out May 24, such as it will in my district this school year, and the AP test is say, May 10, I think the teacher can do some other supplemental work instead of letting the kids just sit around, which was what I was responding to. I think that goes double for a school that gets out even later.
 
Old 08-29-2017, 08:12 PM
Status: "On Break" (set 7 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
81,413 posts, read 91,841,888 times
Reputation: 28071
Quote:
Originally Posted by citizensadvocate View Post
Sorry but I am confused at whether your post is for or against starting school in September.

The back to school absentism issue is real, Texans for a traditional school year states it so not just transplants from the north east who are moving in and settling during August but also migrant workers who must work in Mexico during summer. Schools also often must close for extreme heat waves and power failures during that extremely hot month. Utilities are also the highest in August whether schools have a/c or not.

Its True College and university students are most overwhelmed in the month between Thanksgiving and Christmas as finals are at that time. Now high school students the same.

The 180 day law is not set in stone and could be changed and really should be based on that article a poster wrote. It appears these days the makeup day is more of to meet a zero tolerance contract law than to help education. The contract law was made zero tolerance just because educators around country believe US students are getting too little school compared to other countries so they must get them to attend as much school as possible no and ifs or buts. Good thing California legislators were smart to waive the requirement for districts in the state back in 1990. its smart as every other contract law has a force majure exception. Though I believe school systems around the country should really think and plan better and more consistent ways to make up for school closures that actually benefits education lost those days i.e online teaching, extending the school periods on following days to allow teachers time to cover materials before the end of the term, etc. Making students stay in classrooms during what is supposed to be their day off and playing board games does nothing for education and no parent(s) would cancel a well planned trip just so their kids would sit in the classroom and play games, not learning.

I don't get where the students are doing projects over Christmas arguments are coming from. Or I am just lucky it never happened where I lived.

Students don't have to engage in paid work, many go on missionary trips or volunteer.
i remember summers being a busy time when I was a student. Half the summer was spent at summer school or some learning program, the other is at learning life skills, two weeks for family reunion, just two more weeks to catch up with games I long wanted to play during the school year but were not allowed time to. One or two weeks in August was the only time for family reunions for most relatives I have

I also agree that all these changes due to HS students finals and AP exams unfairly punishes the younger students who don't have such concerns. NYS seems to have their tests late in June so schools in this state won't push to start earlier. Their schools open later into June than the rest of the country though.

It was true there was a time when schools ended before Memorial Day and started after Labor Day in parts of the country. Even though it was not the case when I grew up living in various parts of California where summer begin June 16 and ended labor day but we had a lot of non holiday breaks in between, days that were used to train teachers.
I don't have strong feelings either way, but if I had to take a position, I'd go for a later start/finish.

The weather does not instantly change the Monday after Labor Day. That is the lamest excuse of all. If in some districts in CA and Texas students are working in Mexico in the summer and don't get done with their work till the end of August, then those districts should start later. However, I thought the migrant workers were working in the US in the summer.

The length of the school year is a topic for another thread, and no decision should be based on one article.

I'm just saying that poster's plan for summer was unrealistic. Most agencies that need volunteers don't want them all in three weeks in June and then none the rest of the summer, either.

I went to K-12 school from 1954 to 1967. For about half those years, 1956-1961, I went to a school in a self-contained district that had grades 1-6. We started the Tuesday after Labor Day. We were usually, but not always, out by Memorial Day. I know that because my birthday is June 1 and we were not usually in school for my BD, but once in a while we were. I don't really know when it was standard to start after Labor Day and end before Memorial Day.
 
Old 08-29-2017, 08:23 PM
 
546 posts, read 212,083 times
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True the length of the year has not been changed much. Though some states have increased it over the years. Others like California changed it to 180 student in classroom days back in 1998 whereas in the past 6 days of the 180 could be teacher training days.

The issue with migrant workers are interesting factor. From what I heard many are seasonal migrant workers who live on both sides of the border depending on the season. The families live and work up north during the school year with kids attending US schools, but travels south to Mexico to help with the family farm business during the summer with other families down south generally until September when local schools begin their year and then parents and kids return north to and send their kids to school and find jobs again.

I guess years were shorter when they were able to fit the year between labor day and memorial day and have teacher training day breaks for students. These days due to fall breaks and mid winter breaks in the middle despite the early start many school years still run a few days after Memorial Day forcing kids to study over Memorial Day holiday.
 
Old 08-29-2017, 10:01 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in America
10,929 posts, read 8,427,917 times
Reputation: 17213
Quote:
Originally Posted by citizensadvocate View Post

What do you think?
So do you think schools starting early and sacrificing August as a full summer vacation month is a good tradeoff for having the semester exams before Christmas? Having more mid year breaks, or an earlier end to the school year? Or would you rather schools start after labor day and end June 16 with only the traditional breaks in between?

Do you think those state legislators are right on putting the brakes on early school starts even if it means lesser breaks within the school year and/or a later end to the school year or having final exams in January?
In NY, we don't start school until after Labor Day......been this way for many decades. Nothing new here. The college here just started yesterday. A good part of this state has agricultural roots. I live in a major agricultural area and harvesting has been happening for a few weeks.

Final exams are in June. Midterm exams are in January. We get a 1 1/2 - 2 week break for Christmas. We also get a winter break in January (ties in with the exams), a winter break in February, and spring break the week of Easter. We're in school until the last week of June here. We have to have 180 class days aside from teacher days, snow days, vacations, and holidays. Some years schools have to give up part of their spring break because of the number of snow days used. That's not an issue for the bottom half of the country.
 
Old 08-29-2017, 10:15 PM
Status: "On Break" (set 7 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
81,413 posts, read 91,841,888 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ss20ts View Post
Some years schools have to give up part of their spring break because of the number of snow days used. That's not an issue for the bottom half of the country.
Really? See this post. I don't know what is going on in North Carolina that they get so many snow days. It rarely happens in the metro Denver area, and we get far more snow than they do in NC. They must have a policy to call off school at the drop of a flake.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jaynarie View Post

As for the snow days, it may be solvable in some places, but in NC, it isn't. By law, there are start and end dates to the school year. You cannot go before or after them. There aren't built in make-up days, although we never once made it through a year without at least one snow day (in my 6 years there). So, they pull from Spring Break, other holidays, and Saturday. I've taught on Memorial Day, Saturday, and we lost the entire Spring Break several times. When I asked why they couldn't just cancel certain schools, I was told they couldn't do that. It had to do with money- mostly the central office personnel, their contracts, and their pay.
 
Old 08-29-2017, 10:30 PM
 
2,813 posts, read 1,139,672 times
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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.
100% agree!
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