I looked forward to the proposed school calendars with much trepidation. I was right to be wary. Where do they come up with these ideas? I think they really need to take a look around at other school systems. What other county or regional system feels the need to align their schedule with that of a college? Colleges get out in May, certainly. But their courses are more intense, and so they can be completed in nine months.

“Before Labor Day” could, and should, still be in September! They could start on the first, and still end before the end of June. What is this obsession with not going to school in the last half of the month of June? Or at all?

Is there anyone there that looks around and sees how bad this is going to go over with families who are used to making plans in July and August? What happens when it is too hot and the air conditioning is not working? (That happened last year.) And then school is closed and suddenly parents are stuck?

If they used the first proposed schedule (because the second one is just too ridiculous to even contemplate) and started Sept. 1, it would not be such a roadblock in the minds of all the parents. And the last proposed day of school would be June 16, which is still a week earlier than this year. Could they do that, at least? I think most parents would be more accepting of this. (A poll of the handful of parents at our bus stop says this. Another hated item is the half-day teacher conferences. It is a wasted week. Have one day off. We parents are scrambling to schedule every time this comes up!)

Also, I’m glad to see you are finally looking into the idea of “blizzard bags.” But you don’t need the internet to do work from home. The work is sent home ahead of the first storm in a pre-made packet. It is not a six-hour assignment. It is one short assignment from each learning area. First-graders back home did it in less than an hour. For teacher assistance, teachers were available by email during set hours on the snow day. Also, the next week, there were two after-school days that children could elect to stay after for one-on-one help. Part of the problem here is that teachers refuse to work more than eight hours a day, which will not be fixed unless the union will cooperate. Everyone needs to give here. The calendar committee should not be given the “leftovers” after everyone else has had their say. It is unfair to the committee, and ultimately unfair to the students in getting the most out of their learning time.

Am I the only one that has a problem with students going to school in August? There are so many ways to fix this schedule — for the good of the students — not the teachers or administrators or for-profit individuals sticking their fingers in.

But please, please, please ... do not do school in August. That goes against all other experiences of everyone growing up that I have ever known. It would be hard to wrap our minds around it, let alone our lives.

Karyn Brown

Point of Rocks

(28) comments

ehpercy

When the author ends her argument with this line "(t)hat goes against all other experiences of everyone growing up that I have ever known" it shows she has little understanding for why summer break is there in the first place. It was not for family vacations it was for kids to work on the family farm. It also shows she has little understanding of the schedule pressures that are part of today's school year. They are far different than what she experienced in school. IMHO It is high past time that we should go to year round schooling.

hayduke2

Year round schooling makes sense.

weedsinfrederick

Don't understand why the leap to two and three weeks early school start if you move it prior to labor day. What's wrong with starting only one week prior to Labor Day (31 August or 1 Sept)? According to the FNP, that's not even a consideration now, and it should be.

butterflygirl

First, school hours and days are not to make parent lives easier. Schools are not babysitters. You get the schedule very early and have time to make arrangements. Secondly, you expect teachers to work on snow days to help with assignments. Teachers do not get paid for snow days. Lastly, going to school for a week in August will not hurt anyone. That was happening for years before Hogan decided to help make OC money.

gabrielshorn2013

butterfly girl, if you are paid an hourly wage, then you are correct, you re not paid for snow days. That lack of work time should show up in your paycheck. If you are paid an annual salary, then yes, you are paid for those snow days. While you are not babysitters, you do work for the parents and citizens of Frederick County who set your work schedule. Starting after Labor Day, as the majority of Maryland citizens support, won't hurt you either. If that is unacceptable, you have other options.

hayduke2

Educators are paid for a set number of days - the system I am familiar with pays teachers for 191 days ( 185 of which are classroom instruction ). The others are teacher work days. Starting pre Labor Day was the norm prior to the governor’s decision.

gabrielshorn2013

Be careful of that argument hay. If you are only paid for 185 workdays, and the rest of the country has 261 working days, then complaining about being underpaid goes out the window. You will need to normalize your salary against the rest of the population working a normal 52 week, 40 hour per week schedule. If that is done, your salary for time worked is much higher. A longer summer vacation allows you to get a part-time summer job. Starting after labor day won't hurt you. Your statement also draws the question that if the school year started before Labor Day pre-Hogan, when did it switch to starting before Labor Day? Was it always so?

hayduke2

Unfortunately, in many areas teachers do have to take second jobs because teacher pay is low. That pay for 191 days is often spread out over the entire year so teachers have steady income during the summer if they choose not to work. Sorry if you compare it to the "normal" work week because you are trying to create a strawman argument. Every type of employment is different, and there really is no "normal". Many educators work teaching summer school, part time positions, etc. Anyone is free to pursue a job as an educator and, in a free market system, folks like to claim you get paid for your educational background, experience and the task you perform. I know of very few types of employment that are as important as educating others for the future.

hayduke2

Additionally, teachers get paid an hourly wage. That amount is set by the BOE and total pay is for hours worked only. hourly wage x 7.5 hours x 191 days ( or whatever the district identifies ) = salary. The paid summer's off argument is a myth.

des21

Come on Hay, if like me, you are at this for 18 or more years (I'm on step 18) with an MA plus you are being paid over 100k a year. Now grant it, with the ponzi scheme know as our pension we only take 60% of that home but you will get is back after you retire if you live a number of years after that. Don't you think it's about time teachers stop moaning about being underpaid? Its disingenuous. I haven't worked in the summer for years. Its delightful. Budget, budget......

hayduke2

Never said I was underpaid. Yeah, I have a MS + 90 and am very satified with my income. However, that has nothing to do with my comment. I am merely pointing out how the pay for actual hours worked is computed. What part of that do you argue with? As I said, if you have the ability, education , patience to work with children and within the system, you will be compensated accordingly. Teacher pay is no more unfair than any other employment that requires specialized training and skills. Glad you are happy but get over the subtle bashing of educators.

des21

That was subtle? I'm off my game![beam]

hayduke2

Bet your fellow educators are happy to know you hold them in such low esteem..

des21

Hopefully their strong self image will see them through my outrageous barbs Hay.

shiftless88

Gabe; perhaps I missed it but I do not recall a state-wide vote on the "after Labor Day" start. I know that Hogan implemented it as an executive order to cater to the businesses on the DelMarVa.

gabrielshorn2013

shiftless, there was not a statewide vote on the matter. However, there have been statewide polls on the subject, of which I referred. Here are some references:

http://comptroller.marylandtaxes.gov/Public_Services/Agency_Information/Office_of_the_Comptroller/Comptroller_Initiatives/School_After_Labor_Day_Myth_vs_Fact.pdf

https://www.wbaltv.com/article/marylanders-support-school-starting-after-labor-day-minimum-wage-increase/26639465#

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/md-politics/democrats-revive-fight-with-hogan-over-starting-school-after-labor-day/2019/02/06/0bd1b624-2a1a-11e9-b011-d8500644dc98_story.html

and many more...

Dwasserba

The first ("progressive", Catholic) elementary school I attended came with a package of assignments for every weekday of summer vacay. I was there through fourth grade. I was never a kid who looked ahead or planned and who sometimes lied when unsupervised, so I remember the assignments I actually liked, but ended up rushing through because I goofed off and needed to catch up. One time I had to cut out, color, identify and assemble a paper Noah's Ark, reading descriptions of animals. We turned in a pile of stuff at the first day. Since this was the 60s, concern about kids' backsliding due to "summer brain", isn't new. Calendars are arranged around it. Some homeschoolers ignore it. Year-round public school has been debated for what seems like forever, and there are always parents who just take their kids out whenever they want for any reason, even back when it could get the kids expelled if the reason wasn't good enough. Kids notice when your grandma dies every year in June and yet you somehow grew up to be the future surgeon among us. Sweating it out into June made me the better person, but your parents were my heroes.

hayduke2

To the author - who are the " for profit " folks sticking their fingers in the schedule. Are you referring to the folks in Ocean City who pushed thru the after Labor Start for their financial gain? Statements like these are purely based on emotion and some previously held slight.

Reader1954

seems it would be easy enough to keep June open to make up any necessary days.

knahs25

Year ‘round school has proven to be successful in many parts of the US. With three months off students spend much of their first month back re-learning things from the previous term. This also prepares them for entry into the job market. Not everyone wants summer off - especially those who prefer winter sports.

butterflygirl

The cost of year round school is higher. Not sure people in the county would be willing to pay more.

shiftless88

If it is shown to be better for our kids, then a reasonable expense increase should be possible.

butterflygirl

People complain they pay too much in taxes for education now. I do not see them wanting to pay more for year round school.

public-redux

I don’t understand why attending school in August is akin to a natural disaster but attending school in June is the Way Things Should Be.

threecents

The only thing worse than school in August is school in June.

public-redux

I spent part of my school years in a state where school started in September and ended in June. Then one summer we moved to a state that started in August and ended in May. All I know for sure is that someone still owes me two weeks of summer vacation.

des21

Not in an un-air conditioned elementary school gym. Much worse in August as most can imagine. No gyms in elementary schools have ac. Its brutal. 3 shirt days. Worse for kids.

public-redux

I know I had PE in an un-ACed gym in August in Iowa decades ago. I don’t remember “brutal”. Maybe there really is something to that librul global warming thingy.

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