"Why operate on a calendar designed for the economy of the last century?" "As we head into the 21st century, I don't know of very many children who must work on family farms. So why do we continue to implement a calendar which has no educational advantages?"
These questions have been asked by many educators over the past years.
What we want to accomplish with Columbia County's calendar C option (our present calendar) is to reorganize the calendar so that instruction and vacation are spread out through the year to make learning more continuous. Studies show that student attitude and attendance, as well as student learning, are improved when there are more frequent breaks. Studies show increased motivation in teachers and students as they come back from a break. Also, there have been studies that show teacher absenteeism is reduced and teacher attitude improved with a calendar that resembles our Calendar C option.
The reasons for our choice should be based on the best practices for students and those involved in education, not whether parents are inconvenienced by the breaks in the calendar. I know from personal experience that children are bored and want to go back to school during the long summer breaks that we had in the past. Quality instructional time is sacrificed because of the need for reviewing concepts from the year before.
It would be nice if parents asked teachers who are experts in their fields to give their advice about the school calendar. A few years ago our county did ask our teachers to construct a calendar and put trust in them to do a good job. They spent many long hours that included debates and reviewing public questionnaires, and then produced a calendar that was educationally sound.
Are we saying that now all their efforts were in vain? Don't we ask doctors for medical advice and then take their recommendations? Why is it so much different when we relate this to teachers?
Our county did the right thing a few years ago when they enlisted a committee of teachers and parents to build an educationally sound school calendar.
Why should we go backward now instead of moving forward with a calendar that is best for the education of students?
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