Balanced Calendar School Year - ProTeacher Community


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Balanced Calendar School Year
Old 02-02-2009, 09:46 AM
 
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I was recently put in charge of researching the idea of a balanced calendar school year (aka year-round school). There are a couple of schools locally that do this and I think it would be a good thing for my district to do. Any thoughts on those of you that have this? What are some pros and cons? And what do you do with snow days? The more feedback the better! Thanks!


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Love IT!
Old 02-02-2009, 10:34 AM
 
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I teach in a district with a balanced calendar, and I absolutely LOVE it! We go to school from August 1-May 31 with a break in Sept., a week at Thanksgiving, two weeks for Christmas, another week in February, and a week for spring break. The breaks fall at the end of a 6 week grading period--which is nice. It is really nice to have time off during the year--for kids and teachers alike!
I honestly can't think of any cons, and I live in GA so no snow days to deal with at all!
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I work in a year round school
Old 02-02-2009, 01:41 PM
 
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and love it. I couldn't imagine working more than 9 weeks in a row. Our calendar varies by 4 tracks. I start in July and work for 3 weeks the have 3 off. Then we are in school for 9 weeks and have 3 off-the middle week is always Halloween week. Then we go to school for 6 weeks and have 2 off for Winter Break. We come back for 3 weeks of school and have 3 weeks off (which I am off on right now). Then it's back for 9 weeks of school with 3 off at the end of April and first 2 weeks of May and we finish the school year with 6 weeks. We have 2 weeks off and it starts all over again.

I love it!!! We get the breaks right when we need them and we are able to travel during low season. The children have very little regression and maintain their abilities. Very little time is wasted at the beginning of the year remembering what it is like to be in school.
I live in Colorado and we rarely get snow days. In the twelve years I've been here, I've only had three snow days in all!!
We only need 170 days of contact with kids so that needs to be taken into consideration, too. Every state varies on that. I know we had 20 more days in NY when I taught there.

Some parents do not like this schedule b/c of childcare, but our school has fantastic intersessions that are not too much money, so in the end, everyone is happy.
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Old 02-02-2009, 04:08 PM
 
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We've worked with a balanced calendar for several years. I agree with PPs that the frequent breaks are quite nice. However, I wish my district would be more generous with personal leave. I was able to attend my sister's August wedding, but could not attend her 20th anniversary because we were already back in school. I get three personal leave days a year. This calendar does make the summer very "short." I would also like to see more intervention classes for at-risk students offered during some of the breaks.
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Old 02-02-2009, 05:51 PM
 
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I think year round school causes a big hassle for working parents. I can't imagine having to make arrangements for all those breaks! Also, it probably causes havoc with the kids as far as routines go. Some kids don't handle change well. I would never teach in, nor send my child to, a year round school. I think it's just too much "on and off". How much review do you have to do at the start of each return? We had 12 days off for WInter break and it was brutal coming back.


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I love it
Old 02-02-2009, 07:03 PM
 
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We are year round because of overcrowding, but I love the schedule. We work 3 months then get about one month off. There is less burn-out, you can take vacations during off-peak seasons, and you spend much less time reviewing old material and routines.

The negatives are that it is hard on families if the whole district doesn't switch over, because you end up with children on different school schedules with different vacations. The summer heat can be an issue if you don't have a/c. Also, many education supply places (publishers, for instance) operate on a traditional school year, so it may be difficult to get supplies and state funds in time for the start of the different school year.

Our snow days are put into the end of our March intersession break.
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Old 02-02-2009, 07:22 PM
 
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I guess I'll be in the minority after skimming PPosts. In my area most districts have been on year-round since I was a kid (I'm 34). Most are doign away with it because research is showing it is more hurtful than helpful for kids. Teachers in the area hate it because they have to pack up and move 3 times per year, and are given just a minimum day those 3 times to move - it always takes them the weekend and many other days to settle in each time. With budget cuts now extreme in California, they cannot afford to have a year-round custodial staff, buses year-round, utilities year-round...but really the kids lose a ton of instructional time due to tracking on and tracking off. Our distric it ending year round next year, and everyone including parents are so happy!
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