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Column: New faculty calendar nonetheless lets ‘children be children’ | Opinion Columns



Remember if you had been a child?

Depending in your age, you in all probability have fond recollections of three months of enjoyable when the varsity 12 months ended. Some of us are sufficiently old to recollect faculty letting out round Memorial Day and never going again into session till after Labor Day.

Or, roughly the identical schedule as your neighborhood pool.

I convey this up due to all of the current dialogue a few modified educational calendar for the Aiken County Public School District. In a nutshell, the summer season break wouldn’t be as lengthy and the faculties would observe two-week breaks within the fall and spring plus break day at Thanksgiving and Christmas.

I attended the Aiken County Board of Education assembly Tuesday evening to ship the Community Christmas Card verify. Thanks to the generosity of our neighborhood and readers, we had been in a position to give $8,103 to the varsity district. The cash goes to help college students with garments, meals, faculty provides and extra. It’s the largest quantity we’ve raised up to now, and we’re grateful for the neighborhood assist.

Before I offered the verify, two residents spoke in the course of the public participation portion of the assembly and spoke out towards altering the educational calendar. They wished to let “kids be kids” and weren’t positive that modifying the calendar would make a lot of a distinction within the “summer slide,” or the lack of data between faculty years.

I left just a little bit after that, however I used to be shocked to study later that evening the varsity board had voted to approve a modified calendar for the 2023-24 12 months. It must be famous {that a} calendar for the subsequent faculty 12 months, 2022-23, has but to be authorized.

The faculty board held a pair of city corridor conferences earlier this month to debate the proposed calendar change, and it additionally despatched out surveys to oldsters, academics and workers. There was a low response price on the surveys – a small pattern dimension, if you’ll – however one board member mentioned that greater than 60% of oldsters and 67% of academics had been in favor of the change.

According to our reporting on the assembly, there was a lot dialogue among the many board about transferring ahead with the vote. Dr. John Bradley, the board’s chairman, mentioned he was not “comfortable or confident making decisions of this magnitude” primarily based on a 27% response price.

Superintendent King Laurence is in favor of the brand new calendar, however he acknowledged there are some challenges to beat.

“We’re confident that the benefits outweigh the deficits in a modified calendar, but we recognize that some of those do exist,” Laurence mentioned. “Some extracurricular activities like band and football, those are going to require some adjustments, especially in practice schedules. Full-time summer jobs could be impacted. It’s possible custody agreements will have to be adjusted. But we believe that for a majority of students, families and teachers this change will have a positive impact.”

The excellent news is that there’s roughly 18 months earlier than any of this goes into impact. That ought to give everybody concerned time to make changes and determine it out.

And, to those that bemoan not having a three-month break for the scholars, that hasn’t been the case for fairly a while right here. School sometimes ends the primary week of June and the children return into class in mid-August.

A short web search reveals that nations world wide deal with schooling otherwise. Many nations require extra days, the varsity days are longer and a few even go to class on Saturdays.

I’m extra involved concerning the “COVID-19 slide” that our college students have absolutely skilled the previous two educational years. There has been a lot juggling of schedules between distance studying and in-person instruction, to not point out college students not being in school due to sickness or quarantine.

The backside line is there’ll nonetheless be loads of time for “kids to be kids” underneath the brand new calendar. It may reduce into their pool or seashore time, however they are going to nonetheless have loads of breaks and hopefully it may well decelerate the “summer slide.”

Thanks for studying.




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