I am often asked what I think about having such a schedule. I like it. I’ve never been very good about figuring out ways to spend my summer vacation. It can be inconvenient because my own children are on a traditional schedule. I do think it makes sense, though, for the students we serve – students who are very definitely subject to the summer slide.
We have 10 weeks on and then 3 weeks off. Actually, we have 2 weeks off and 1 week of (optional) PD. The new break is the fall one at the end of September. For now, at least, I can still get cheap flights.
It has some difficulties, though, especially if it’s not well-publicized. Today is the first day for all of our freshman. As of this writing, 14 have shown up. 14. Is it because they don’t know we’re a year-round school? Is it because they’ve hidden this fact from their parents?
The traditional school year starts August 15. Some argue that we shouldn’t really do much until then because we’ll get another influx of kids at that point. I don’t buy it. If we give in to the culture, then it’ll become entrenched. I’m not saying I want students in such a big whole if they arrive mid-August, but it should hurt enough so that they’ll remember next year.
It would help if our District did more to support it. Robocalls to those enrolled in year-round schools. A district calendar that includes the month of July. I recently sent in a help request for a tech issue and was told that it could wait because the tech person was trying to get everyone ready for school. He didn’t know – until I politely informed him – that school was ready for us today.
And the city could adjust as well. What opportunities can our students take advantage of over that fall break? How can we best help them make use of their shorter summer?
So my overall verdict after 2 years and a day? I’m in favor of it. Can a district have a hybrid? Probably. Publicity is required.