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The perfect school calendar

Cindy Ramunno

It seems late. Many schools have been out since Memorial Day Weekend.

I dislike the current calendar. I really don’t believe that any substantial learning takes place after Memorial Day.

Some would argue that you shouldn’t start until after Labor Day. “August is so beautiful here” seems to be the elementary parents’ constant mantra.

Yeah, except that kids enjoy going back to school and are ready after a long break in the action. Kids are also so ready to be done after Memorial Day – their tired brains have already checked out.

The business community upvalley insists on a fall break and long Thanksgiving break. More traditional folks want the two weeks off for the winter break (Christmas).

High school parents who have kids in fall activities want a mid-August start. Elementary parents usually want an early September start.

The school calendar will always make a group of people unhappy. The calendar people also have to create “equal” quarters and schedule the 175 to 180 student contact days, plus teacher training and so on.

Next year, teacher training will fall on six Wednesday afternoons, a day-care nightmare for many parents.

Secondary teachers dread when kids are cut loose for half a day and then have to come back for extracurricular activities.

Elementary teachers see kids “climbing the walls” after a Memorial Day weekend of fun and then back at a school environment.

So here’s my perfect calendar. I know 90 precent of you will hate it. But for my family and our schedule, this would be ideal:

First day of School – Monday, Aug. 19. This way, you get two solid weeks in before Labor Day Weekend.

First long break – Nov. 25-29, one week at Thanksgiving. Yeah! The district did away with the fall break in October. I agree with a week at Thanksgiving. It’s awful for winter activities at the high school level, but it’s a nice break for most families.

A week and a half would do for winter break, Dec. 23 through Jan.1. Go back to school on Jan. 2 – and even though it’s only for two days that week – get into the swing of things.

Spring break is typically the last week of March for most schools. If you’re visiting family, that’s a good time because almost everyone has a break. But if you’re looking for travel deals, a week before or after would be better. I’m up in the air on spring break. As long as it’s a week and it’s in the springtime, I’m flexible.

The last day of school should be May 23. If you start on the Aug. 19 and do away with the half-day teacher training days and then add the two days during the winter break, you have the same number of student contact days that they now have on the calendar.

I’m a genius! I believe I’ve found the perfect calendar. However, I know someone from the school district will call me any tell me exactly what I’m missing and why that won’t work.

I’ll deal with what’s already done, but I know my calendar is better. If you have any questions about the current calendar or would like a copy of the calendar, call 328-6321.

Meanwhile, kids will now be out making some money and/or having some fun. Happy summer vacation, kids!

Cindy Ramunno of Eagle writes a weekly column for the Daily.


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