Shorter school year-longer days

Discussion in 'General Education' started by forkids, May 24, 2009.

  1. forkids

    forkids Cohort

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    May 24, 2009

    It looks like our district is about to approve a school calendar for the 09-10 school year that is one month shorter and has an hour added to each school day. They have considered going to a four day week with an extra hour each day(my preference), but apparently have decided they will save more money by not starting back until September. We have been starting school the first week of August for the last several years. I think the idea is saving a lot of money on air conditioning as well as other utilities by not going in August.
    They are looking at everything right now for ways to save money because of funding cuts. What is your district doing to survive the funding crisis?
     
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  3. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    We never start until September (we don't get out until mid-June.) One thing we started last year is for summer school and for all admin in the school system, we have a 4-day work week during the summer only. They also closed one school that was entirely early childhood (public full-day pre-K) and distributed those classes and teachers to existing schools.

    Other things to save money -- all adminstrators (principals,aps, deans, central office admins) have to take a 1 week unpaid furlough during the summer. All staff (including teachers) have to take a 1% pay cut for next year. Our health care costs that we pay are going up, as are our deductables.

    Other than that, it is business as usual. :( Not getting a raise again this year was hard enough, but actually taking a pay cut is harder. Especially since health care went way up last year (so we are making less money than 2 years ago) and will go up again this year. But I guess it is better than lay-offs. Many teachers are getting shifted, but no one is being laid-off.
     
  4. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    I would love longer days and a shorter year. Ooooohhh, that would be great.
     
  5. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    I wouldn't mind longer days either if we got a shorter year (and not less pay instead...)

    I wonder how that would work out for parents who'd need longer day care over the summer? That is what nix-es just about everything for us. The majority of our kids are in day care, and the city doesn't want them home alone with no one watching them.
     
  6. MsMar

    MsMar Fanatic

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    May 24, 2009

    At this point I have not heard of any measures that our district is taking to cut costs. Although of the two people who retired from my department, only one is being replaced, so that is of course a cut. But I think we're adding an extra math teacher so if that's the case then it's not a budget cut, just a position moving to a different department.

    Although a longer day and shorter school year is certainly better than cutting things, I wouldn't like it. We go from 7:15 to 3:00 each day (HR starts at 7:30 and kids leave at 2:40) and I think that's plenty long. Fifth block is tough enough as it is!
     
  7. Beth2004

    Beth2004 Maven

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    May 24, 2009

    What will your school hours look like now?

    I work at a charter school and we have a longer school day and year compared to the local public schools. We start the last week of August and go to about the 3rd or 4th week of June. The students' day is 8:15-3:30 (teachers 8-3:45).
     
  8. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Our district is closing 3 schools, riffing 7% of the district staff, riffing 300 teachers, not giving raises, and cutting out lots of stuff from the budget. But, most of us still have jobs. Luckily, the district right next to us has decided to hire instead of reduce so some of our teachers can go there.
     
  9. ANGRY AL

    ANGRY AL Companion

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    May 24, 2009

    I'd be all for shorter days and a shorter year. (LOL!!!)
     
  10. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    May 24, 2009

    It presents a huge child care problem for working parents. So I expect that many districts will try very hard NOT to go to the shorter calendar option.

    But it would save a lot of money for sure!
     
  11. peggy27

    peggy27 Cohort

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    I would love a shorter year too.
    My legislature has cut my pay 5 and half days, they took our professional development days away. Our district gave us back 2 days, we come to school and the students have no school. They wanted parents to feel some pain too. And know we weren't just cutting fat that students were affected.
     
  12. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I'm hoping that wasn't their reasoning.

    To leave parents strapped for child care merely to prove a point is incredibly petty and short sighted. Ask any parent here: we're feeling plenty of pain.
     
  13. RainStorm

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    In our district, we have statistics that show that the crime rate goes up significantly on the days when we have professional development or parent-teacher conferences. For that reason, we only have one city-wide professional development day, and one parent-teacher conference day. All of our other professional developments are done on our "rare" early release days or during our planning time (one grade level at a time.)

    City kids with no supervision and nothing to do is an invitation to problems.

    I really feel bad for parents who use our in-school day care. It is closed on our professional development day -- so parents have to come up with an alternative. At least they are open on early release days.

    When parents have no options, they are sometimes forced to do things they might not otherwise do -- like leave children who are really too young to be alone at home unsupervised. I'm glad our district makes it a priority to keep these times to a minimum.
     
  14. peggy27

    peggy27 Cohort

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    They wanted parents to know that these budget cuts have affected the schools. That the district is not just cutting the fat, programs were affected. We are closing a alternative high school and the music program was almost lost. We were lucky that only 2 teachers lost their jobs thanks to the stimulus money.
    I think parents also need to realize that we are not a daycare service, we are a school. That's a whole other post. I feel sorry for the parents who have to make arrangements for the 2 days but we all have adjustments to make.
     
  15. peggy27

    peggy27 Cohort

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    I wish our district had school daycare, I think that would alleve many problems. We don't even have afterschool programs to keep the kids occupied. though we are not an inner city but I still think it would help.
     
  16. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Our parents have many options. The on-site before and afterschool program is run by the Y. It opens at 7am and closes at 6:30pm. We also have school bus pickup and drop off from two private day cares that are nearby, so parents have three choices right there. There is also a boys and girls club program from a neighboring city (only 15 minutes away) that sends a bus right after school to pick up about 20 students who are in their program. It is much cheaper, and has later hours, but is in a nearby city, that is in a more dangerous area. They all have their pros and cons, some are open later, open earlier, some are equipped for certain ages, some are smaller, some are larger, some are cheaper, some are more expensive. But at least parents have options.
     
  17. peggy27

    peggy27 Cohort

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    Rainstorm that is so great. As a parent I would feel relieved my kids had someplace to go.
     
  18. forkids

    forkids Cohort

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    The childcare problem is one reason our district decided against a four day week - parents would need to find childcare for Fridays. It was suggested that they offer daycare on Friday at one school location as an extention of the afterare program for parents that needed it, but I guess that didn't fly.
     
  19. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

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    As a teacher, I'd so love a 4-day week, or even a longer day if it meant a shorter year.

    However, be careful that more and more days don't creep into the calendar, until, before you know it....you're back to the longer year WITH longer days. Probably for the same pay, too.

    That sort of happened to us. We negotiated a longer school day for teachers only (so that we got more planning time, especially inservice and collaborative planning) in exchange for a raise. We were working 2 more hours a week, so about 100 more hours a year - for a 1% raise. Three years later, they've lengthened the students' day by 30 minutes per day, so there goes our planning time....
    Kim
     
  20. fuzed_fizzion

    fuzed_fizzion Comrade

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    May 24, 2009

    Originally, the district had planned on lengthening our school year by five days, but since the latest budget numbers from the state, we are back to our regular school year.

    Funny thing is that the superintendent just figured out that if 6 high-level positions in the district office were cut, it would save the district $1 million dollars.
     
  21. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    Our district cut all behaviour interventionists and reduced resource teacher's (Special Ed) funding. Programs similar to what would be considered Title 1 in the US were cut-off completely as well.
     
  22. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

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    Me too. I wish ours did.
     
  23. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

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    So what were your hours, and what are they now?

    For us, it's teachers 7:30 to 3:30
    Kids in the room from 7:50 to 3:00

    We used to start 2nd week of August and get out May 20-ish. Now, due to state legislature, have to start later. I think this has something to do with A/C costs. We start the Monday before Labor Day and go to June 4th.
     
  24. forkids

    forkids Cohort

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    Our hours now are
    Teachers: 7:15 - 3:15
    Students: 7:45 - 2:15

    If we have a longer day, I assume it will be kids from 7:45 - 3:15 and we will be there til 4:15. That will make it hard for Dr., dentist appointments, etc. I would rather have the four day week. They had said if we had a four day week we would be off on Mondays, which would allow time for these things.
     
  25. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

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    I agree and would rather have the 4 day. If you look at it from a district level though, it is way easier just to extend the day and not have to get the flack from the parents with child care issues.
     
  26. forkids

    forkids Cohort

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    Yes, and they will save a lot of money on air conditioning in August. I just think it would be great to have a three day weekend to look forward to every week all year long! Especially with working the longer days.
     
  27. MelissainGA

    MelissainGA Groupie

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    forkids,

    Ours considered the 4 day week also but didn't pass it for the same reason that you stated, parents and the Monday care. I haven't heard that ours is considering extending the day yet though. I think it would be awesome though. It's been great this weekend having the extra day. Wonder if my county has been watching what your county is considering, hmmmmm?
     
  28. nattles19

    nattles19 Comrade

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    Shorter school year sounds awful. So many kids slide backwards over the summer anyway. I would love this if I were at a year round school, and got more frequent breaks. But just a longer summer? Nah.
     
  29. tracykaliski

    tracykaliski Connoisseur

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    I would love a shorter school year in exchange for longer days. I'm already at work by 7 and usually don't leave until 5, so at least I'd be getting something else in exchange for those extra hours. :lol:
     
  30. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    I am amazed at how early schools in my area let out-I think they should have longer schools days AND a longer school year! My last school started at 8:30 and let out at 3. I could barely get in all my content areas on top of specials, recess and lunch. In MI, we started at 8:30 with the kids, and went until almost 4. We had more than enough time for everything, and my year was plenty long to get in all my units and have fun as well. When I was going around to pass out Sprout info, some of the neighborhood schools were letting out at 2:30 (elementary). What???
     
  31. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

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    Our hours are 9:15-3:40 with kids. Teachers have to be there from 8-4:15. If we extended the day (either to shorten the year or to shorten the week), I only hope they add to the start of our day...sports and lessons and scouts all make for pretty late nights for most families as it is.

    Kim
     
  32. cheeryteacher

    cheeryteacher Enthusiast

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    In my wonderful state that would never work. We are required to teach 180 days, and starting next year 180 full days (no more 1/2 days for professional development.)
     
  33. cheeryteacher

    cheeryteacher Enthusiast

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    Maybe if they extend the day you will get to leave with the kids. The powers that be in my district would not be able to extend the teacher contract day without a) a fight from the union and b) paying the teachers for extra time.
     
  34. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Gosh, I'd love to have that much time without the students there -- if we work only our scheduled hours, we walk in 5 minutes before the kids, and leave 15 minutes after they do. It makes it really hard to get copies made, etc. unless you come in on your own time.

    We are also supposed to get a 30 minute duty-free lunch, but during this 30 minutes we have to walk our kids to the cafertia (big school -- long walk) and get ourselves back there. I've never once gotten more than 20 minutes, and that is if I hustle, hustle, hustle. If you have to use the bathroom (there is only one adult stall on our floor) then you will give up another 5-7 minutes waiting in line for your turn. If you buy lunch from the cafe, there goes the rest of the time, because the lines are always backed up. While you can cut in front of your own class, you can't cut infront of the class ahead of you, so sometinmes that may be another 5 minute or longer wait.

    Oh yes, and the fire marshall wont allow us to have a staff fridge or microwave in the cafe.. or in the classrooms.. so the one and only approved one is in timbucktoo...so plan more time if you don't bring a for real brown-bag that doesn't need refrigerating or warming up.
     
  35. ANGRY AL

    ANGRY AL Companion

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    A longer day would present a lot of problems at the middle and high school levels. Think of the time the athletes would be missing at the end of everyday whenever they have games....especially away games.
     
  36. nattles19

    nattles19 Comrade

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    Right now we go from 8:55 - 3:45, with early dismissal on Wednesdays at 12:30 so we can have PD and our planning time. I love short Wednesdays because I work well with a big chunk of time to myself. It also helps break up the week and have something different to look forward to. Our new superintendant is having all schools go on the same schedule in '10-'11. No more short Wednesdays. I know it's easier on the parents, but I'll miss it.
     
  37. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    We must be in the same state :D Has your district let you know how they are going to handle professional development?
     
  38. cheeryteacher

    cheeryteacher Enthusiast

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    Yes, we are in the same state. Last I heard the powers that be did not know how they were going to handle prof. dev. days. I heard that we will possibly get out an hour early either every Friday or every other Friday for PD, but nothing is set in stone. What is your distrct doing?
     
  39. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    Well, the school board had to re-do our calendar to exclude our PD days and take out the elementary conference days. So right now our calendar has exactly 180 days. We are in the middle of bargining so of course this issue is now front and center. The big issue will be whether or not we get paid and I can't imagine many of our teachers will show up for PD after hours if they aren't paid. I can't remember off the top of my head how much PD we have to do for PL221 but I still don't know how the state can make us do this on our own time without compensation.

    So, right now our district is doing nothing. I think they are hoping somehow it will go away.
     
  40. forkids

    forkids Cohort

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    We're required to have 180 days also. They're going to make up the lost time by the longer days. The state has agreed to allow school systems to do this to save money in the financial crisis.
     

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