School in early August

Letter written with my wife to the local paper:

It's early August, congress just started summer recess, and the president will soon go on vacation with his family. Throughout the nation, TV stations present vacation and summer camp tips for families. In Bloomington, however, the first day of school has arrived. Why is August a time of rest and recreation in much of the northern hemisphere but not in Monroe County? Because the MCCSC Board of Trustees approved the current calendar with no evidence to demonstrate pedagogical or any other type of benefit. The survey conducted by the MCCSC school calendar committee shows that 80% of respondents opposed a short-summer calendar with classes in August for various reasons. Some given, it: creates breaks during the year when camp/childcare options are few, a difficulty for families with working parents; limits enriching learning opportunities for the many children whose families have ties to other locations, and for all who wish to travel afar; leads to increased school energy costs. To better serve the community, the MCCSC could coordinate with community members to develop enriching summer programs. But most of all, the Board of School Trustees should listen to the evidence and the community and resynchronize with the rest of the World.

Back to school is supposed to be the END of August

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