Yet another "half day"

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Aliceacc, Oct 27, 2008.

  1. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Oct 27, 2008

    Nope, you haven't already read this thread. It's ANOTHER "half day" for my 3 kids.

    Yet again, they have school from 8:30 to 10:45 am (I would like to meet the person in the district who decided this was a "half day." I want to be sure that he isn't the one hiring math teachers.)Then tomorrow evening there are PTC.

    I'm sorry. I know that conferences are exhausting; mine were last Thursday until 9 pm (after a full day of school, a doctor visit, and a visit home to get the kids set for dinner and the sitter.)

    But I'm willing to bet that standardized test scores would go up a bit if only the kids were in school a bit more.
     
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  3. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Oct 27, 2008

    We have our PTCs at the end of November (after first term report cards). On the Thursday, they run from 3:00 until 9:00 (school lets out at 2:35) and then all day on Friday (the students don't come to school on Friday). We don't get extra pay or any shortened days to make up for the extra time.

    How are most parents able to make arrangements for their children on these half days--transportation, child care, etc? The only half day in our school calendar is the last day of school, and the parents know about that from day one.
     
  4. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    We don't have any half days - out of respect for parents and the difficulties they would cause.

    Alice, why don't your kids go to Catholic school? None of my business, I know, so don't answer if you don't care to...
     
  5. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Oct 27, 2008

    We don't have half days, either. I think it is more a cost-cutting thing.
     
  6. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    No problem Daisy.

    Tuition for 3 kids is a LOT, especially on the salaries of 2 Catholic School teachers.

    It would certainly be nice if they could get a break on their tuition at either of our schools, but no dice. They don't get any sort of a break at all.
     
  7. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Aren't siblings able to get greatly reduced tuition up there?
     
  8. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Not to my knowledge.If there is a reduction, it's negliglble. Catholic schools are struggling to survive.

    And tuition at my school is ballpark $8,000 per year. Times three kids times 4-7 years each (my school is grades 6-12; Peter's is 9-12) and we're talking some SERIOUS money!

    And before you ask: all the Catholic high schools on Long Island are within a few hundred dollars of each other. Now if you want to pay a LOT of money, there are some other local schools that run close to double our schools.

    And overall I'm not dissatisfied with their elementary school. But I would love to win Lotto before they hit high school.
     
  9. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Oct 27, 2008

    I feel your pain...I don't think there's been a week since september that we haven't had a half day, a holiday or a teacher workday...WHEN are these kidsEVER in school?!?!?!?!? The loss of work isn't just in the time loss. We all know how much time we lose as a result in a schedule interruption. The kids are "off", not as well organized, and generally not as well behaved when the routine gets thrown off (or never established to begin with).
     
  10. TeacherC

    TeacherC Connoisseur

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    Oct 27, 2008

    We have a 1/2 day on PTC day...but it is only one day, and a "half-day" for us is from 8:30- 1:05...which isn't really half, considering school normally ends at 2:50...lol.
     
  11. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Oct 27, 2008

    OUr calendar has FOUR between October 1 and December 5.
     
  12. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    Oct 27, 2008

    We have a half day once a month. We have PT conferences this Thursday after school mine are from 3:15 to 7:45.
     
  13. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    Oct 27, 2008

    Oh our half days are from 8:30 to 12:00
     
  14. MsMar

    MsMar Fanatic

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    Oct 27, 2008

    :lol::lol::lol::lol::lol:

    10:45?? That's insane! Do they actually count it as one of their 180 days, or does it count as just a half? My kids half days end at 12:30, which is about a half hour more than a half day (they count it as a whole as far as counting towards the 180 needed in the school year). If I have a "half day" we end at 1:00 instead of 2:40. Although we actually call it early dismissal, so as far as the math goes we're fine with our name :).

    My kids have not had any half days so far this year, but will have it on Nov 21st and Nov 24th, and then no school the rest of the week. I have relatives watching them all of those days so that dh and I can still be at our schools.
     
  15. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Oct 27, 2008

    One year I avg it at 2.5 half or full days off not including actual holidays or breaks. I don't get those but my kids do (different school system).
     
  16. swtteacher

    swtteacher Rookie

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    We never have scheduled conference days, which I actually prefer. I have to have a translator for 15 of my students, so I just schedule conferences during my center time, while my ESL teacher is in my room normally. I try to schedule about 3 conferences at a time, which is more than enough at one time!!
     
  17. fuzed_fizzion

    fuzed_fizzion Comrade

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    Oct 27, 2008

    We don't have half days in our school district, but I have no idea why. Our PTC are the Monday and Tuesday before Thanksgiving, but they are also 12 hour days. Most of us like it because it gives us Wednesday to do whatever we still need to do for the holiday.
     
  18. terptoteacher

    terptoteacher Connoisseur

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    We had half days all last week with our ptc on Tues, Wed and Thurs. I had them back to back until 7 pm each night. Early release is 12;25.

    My own children have two half days every month--every other Wed. They also have a dispensation from the state to only have 159 student contact days.
     
  19. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Nov 19, 2008

    Tomorrow is YET ANOTHER half day for my kids-- you know, the 10:45 am dismissal kind of half day.

    Totally aside from the fact that I'm without a sitter (she was in a car accident Friday and is in the hospital with a fractured pelvis)-- this is ridiculous!!!!

    I know that teaching is hard work. I do it too. But I do NOT understand why it's so impossible for teachers to have parent conferences on top of a day that lasts beyond 10:45 am. We have parent-teacher-student conferences times per year, from 7 pm till 9 pm (or whenever they finish up after 9.) We still work a full day at those times. It's part of the job.

    You want kids to do better on standardized tests?? Then could you PLEASE set up a calendar that puts them in SCHOOL???

    Why does the local administration not get this???
     
  20. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Nov 19, 2008

    Do all the days/hours equal 180 days?
     
  21. Sagette

    Sagette Companion

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    Nov 19, 2008

    My school also had a half day for conferences today. Today was our second half day for conference with one full day (Election Day). These are the only half days until the last two or three days of school. While I do understand that these half days can make child care difficult, I think that most school districts do give parents quite a bit of advance notice so that they can make arrangements. In my district, next year's calendar will be out in January or February. I also found that only 1 parent was unable to make the conference times that I had set up (12:45-3:30) so I would be hesitant to schedule conferences after that time. Alice, I am also a bit surprised because around here the Catholic schools get way more time off than the public schools!
     
  22. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    This isn't about Catholic verses public. It's about time spent in school.

    And it's not the childcare that concerns me, aside from the fact that my usual sitter is in the hospital. That's my own issue, not the school's.

    But how on EARTH do you justify having kids come in from 8:30 until 10:45 FOUR times in a month and a half??? We as parents hear SO MUCH about the importance of those standardized test scores. We're reading here in another post that teachers whose kids don't show adequate improvement are subject to firing. Why has no one in my district connected the ideas of time in school and performance??

    When kids are sitting in my class, they're learning. They leave my class knowing more than when they came in.

    My kids have good teachers this year. (Well, to be honest, I'm not crazy about the one on maternity leave. But she's still out of the picture.) So I'm assuming that they learn when they're in school.

    But they're not going to learn much today. They're going in at 8:30 and leave 135 minutes later. Part of that time will be snack. Since we're in NY and it's below freezing, part of that will also be getting coats and hats and gloves on, at least for my 5 year old. So they're not learning much today, even though the school will get state aid for mandated services.

    I want my kids to receive an education. It seems that it's more likely to happen if they're in school.
     
  23. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    We have exactly one half day during the school year--the last day of school.
     
  24. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    We have two "minimum days" per month.

    However, we only get out at 12:45 instead of 2:30. We start 10 minutes earlier. They shorten lunch and first recess by 5 minutes. There is no second recess (which would be at 12:45 on a regular day). In terms of instructional minutes, a minimum day has only and hour and five minutes fewer than a regular day.
     
  25. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    We have only 1 half day, and that is the day of winter break. For 3 years we have asked that they change that to the day of thanksgiving break since it's only 2 days while the winter break is 2 weeks. It would help a lot of people going out of town for thanksgiving... but no, the admin never listens to us.
     
  26. Alisha

    Alisha Cohort

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    We have more half days than I'd like, about one a month, but they are much less frequently than yours and they are also actual HALF days! (8:10-1:00). We have half days for conferences (though no one shows up) and for "networking" where we are supposed to meet with other teachers and discuss stuff. (Though no one does that either because we do it almost an hour everyday!). So, basically I can't find much point to these half days.
     
  27. Sagette

    Sagette Companion

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    My response wasn't meant to turn this into a Catholic vs. public school debate, I'm sorry if it was taken that way. I gathered from your post that you were upset because your children had a half day and you had to work therefore finding childcare was more difficult. I only commented on the Catholic school schedule because around here (upstate NY) the Catholic schools get more time off than the public schools do. I should also clarify that my half days were true half days as well, the students were dismissed at 12:30.
     
  28. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I'm sorry if I misunderstood; it was 5-something am and I wasn't fully functional yet. :)

    And the childcare thing isn't the issue. Regardless of whether it was my regular sitter or my friend watching my kids, we got the calendar months ago and I was covered.

    My concern is for the hours they should be spending at school.
     
  29. Sagette

    Sagette Companion

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    No worries! I do understand wher you're coming from. I can't for the life of me understand why some schools around here give almost a full week off for Memorial Day Weekend! It used to be just Monday and occassionally Friday if you had a snow day left over, but now it's Thursday and Friday and Monday and Tuesday :eek: They are getting two months of a few short weeks later, there is really no need to give them another week off so close to the end of the year!
     
  30. Luv2Learn

    Luv2Learn Companion

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    Well, in my wonderful district (sarcasm), every Wednesday the kids of early dismissal. The joke (or not really) is that after the new year, all the schools are going to be focused on the FCAT, which unfortunately also takes away from the kids learning, because they are for the most part being taught for the test (and still many schools come out poorly!).
     
  31. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    For those of you who have fairly regular half-days--what happens once the students go home? Is this when you have staff meetings, etc? All of our meetings (staff, division, with parents, etc) take place outside of the school day, is this what you have built in time for?
     
  32. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    *grumble* Let me throw in my own rant...today is yet another half day for us. We just had one yesterday, we have another one next Wed, then we're out for Thanksgiving. This is totally rediculous. I agree with Alice, the kids might do better if they were actually IN SCHOOL!!!!!

    MrsC...yes, this is when we have staff meetings and professional development. I'm giving a workshop today (in an hour) about helping students "bridge the gap" between high school and college. This is actually kinda funny, since my giving the workshop has nothing to do with my middle school...the high school I'm going to contracted my college, and I'm the one facilitating the workshop. I was actually supposed to be attending another workshop at the middle school, but got out of it since I'm doing this. I'm wondering how the pay thing will work, since I'm technically getting paid for both at the same time. I've pointed this out, but nobody seems to care. That worries me.
     
  33. Happy Chatter

    Happy Chatter Rookie

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    So my school has no half days ever, we have all our meetings either before school or after school...no late starts and no early finishes...we work from 8.59 am to 3.30 pm......how does any school justify a half day?
     
  34. frogger

    frogger Devotee

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    We have "early release days" with kids arriving at 7:45 but instructional time begins at 8am and leaving at 11:45 but we have to feed them their lunch so take another 1/2 hr out of that short day plus morning announcements that should be 5 min but take 15 on average. I forgot the logic of this county's admin for having these days...they are a waste.
     
  35. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    My kids' school uses them for parent-teacher conferences, though the conferences NEVER start at 10:45 am. They have early dismissal whether the meetings start at 1 pm or 7 pm.
     
  36. Sagette

    Sagette Companion

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    I can only speak for my district, but half days are usually staff development from 12:30-2:30 and then conferences start. However, my district has only three half days per year. I do know of districts that schedule half days once a month for staff development :eek: Knowing what a waste our staff development is, I can't understand why they would need a i day a month for this!
     
  37. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    The dismissal time might have to do with how the teacher contract is written. In some districts, they have to pay the teachers extra for any extra required time---example, if the regular work day is 7.5 hours, and conferences will take 4 hours, if the district requires that on top of a full instructional day, they will have to pay teachers for an extra 4 hours. To get around that, they reduce the instructional day and count the time between instruction and conferences as "off contract time." Like so many other things in education, it comes down to money.
     
  38. Shanoo

    Shanoo Habitué

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    I just finished week 5 of a 6 week sprint of short weeks

    We've had 3 PD days, 2 holidays and 1 parent-teacher day. Next week is another PD day. THEN, 3 weeks and it's winter break.

    No wonder I'm so far behind....
     
  39. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Nov 23, 2008

    On the other hand, we haven't had so much as a short period since Columbus Day. No assemblies, no faculty meetings, no masses, nothing.

    It's been a great month for getting through material.
     
  40. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    This does make sense to some extent. We aren't paid anything outside of our contracted pay. Staff meetings and divisional meetings take place after school and, while not mandatory, it is "strongly suggested" in our collective agreement that we attend. There are strict guidelines in place, however, as to start and end times of meetings. There are 2 evenings each year that we are required to work--Meet the Teacher Night during the 3rd week of school and the night of Parent Teacher Interviews immediately after first term report cards (next week for us). For the interview night we do have some flexibility in that we can block off time for a dinner break (administration brings in dinner for us) and so that we can leave to attend interviews for our own children.
     
  41. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Nov 23, 2008

    I'm sure that's the reason.

    But forgive me if I don't sound sympathetic. People in all walks of life occasionally have to work late.

    I think that the occasional Parent Interview day or night is simply part of the job. So, yes, on those nights a teacher might work a few hours beyond a typical day.

    But then there are LOTS of days when she doesn't. I think that the teachers should be able to manage 2 or 3 extra days per year.
     

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