When I heard about Dr. Brewer’s proposal to start school in July next year I thought I had fallen into a time warp. Didn’t we just go through this last year? At that time, parents spoke out en masse against an early August school start date. How did she really think we would feel about a July start date? Oh, that’s right. She didn’t care enough to ask us.
Let me reiterate: I am very much AGAINST this plan. Summers are when families have the freedom to reconnect without the pressures of school projects, exams, etc. When you add in summer jobs, church and youth camps, youth conferences, family reunions and other summertime events, the 10 weeks we currently have fly by very quickly. Cutting another week or two out of that would severely restrict those activities.
Dr. Brewer says she wants to finish the first 90 days of the school year by Christmas break. By my calculation, that would make Aug. 8 the first day of school next year. If she were to add two days to Thanksgiving week to make it a "fall break," that would mean adding only two more days to the calendar – a start date of Aug. 6. (The calendar already includes three days’ vacation the week of Thanksgiving.)
Personally, I think adding more time off that close to finals would be detrimental to our students. I know how hard my high-schooler is working to keep up on the block schedule (and she’s taking all honors classes), so the idea of eliminating instructional time at such a crucial juncture is downright irresponsible.
There are plenty of statistics available to show that earlier school start dates hurt, not help, students and families. You can read about them on our web site: http://groups.google.com/group/Bryan-County-PAC.
By the way, the top 10 academic states, in four commonly used state education ranking systems, have two things in common – they begin the school year in late August or early September and administer semester finals after the winter break.
I urge our elected school board representatives to please vote NO on the proposed July start date. It’s what is best for our children.
Bryan County Parents Action Coalition