Standard school year
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Thread: Standard school year

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    Default Standard school year

    Alabama is about to join those states with a standard school year. In AL, it would be ending the school year no later than the Friday just before Memorial Day and beginning the school year no earlier than 2 weeks before Labor Day. The reason is tourism.

    Other states have similar laws governing the start and end of school years.

    What do you think? Should the calendar be a decision left to local districts or the state? Is tourism a good reason in planning the calendar?

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    CA is so large, I don't think the idea would work. If we look at tourism as the reason, depending on the part of the state, the peak season for tourism is different. People flock to the beaches during summer and ski areas during the winter.

    For other states I don't know how well it works, but it seems like the community where the school is would know its population better than the state lawmakers.

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    They made such a law in GA last year (DH works in GA). We were thankful because every year the year started earlier and earlier. The year before they changed it they started back the last week in July. You then have the students going to school all of August. I am not sure why other places did it, but in GA August is just so hot you can't let the kids outside.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlyssaEimers View Post
    They made such a law in GA last year (DH works in GA). We were thankful because every year the year started earlier and earlier. The year before they changed it they started back the last week in July. You then have the students going to school all of August. I am not sure why other places did it, but in GA August is just so hot you can't let the kids outside.
    They passed a law in TX a few years ago too, they got waivers for a little while but almost all the schools are starting at least toward the end of August now. I am also glad because it is way to hot for them to be starting school so early in August. It is worst for kids who ride the bus because they aren't always air conditioned very well if at all. Plus I think it is crazy for schools to have all the added expense of keeping the school air conditioned for one of the hottest months.

    ETA: I also think it is best for it to be set at a state level. It is very hard to manage if different districts are all on a different schedule, especially in a large metro area like dallas where there are many different districts in the same area.
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    I think district level is fine, On the NW Coast of Oregon, we get the nice weather in August and Sept, Where in Central Oregon it is way too hot. It was horrible enough when I was a kid going back to school in Sept when the weather finally turned nice, let alone August, all our nicest weather would be spent inside the classroom. As a homeschooling Family we go year round, and take most of Sept off for Family Vacations. The campgrounds are empty and the weather is wonderful.
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    i live in a little bubble...i had no idea wildly fluctuating school years was an issue anywhere. Everywhere i've lived its seems so predictably standard, both year to year and school district to school district. (nor did it ever seem like an issue that it was so 'standard')

    Strange.

    I guess i don't really understand the purpose of standardizing it yet. "Tourism" So the reason is that the state benefits because they can ensure the school year doesn't interfere with tourism?
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    Quote Originally Posted by KimPossible View Post
    i live in a little bubble...i had no idea wildly fluctuating school years was an issue anywhere. Everywhere i've lived its seems so predictably standard, both year to year and school district to school district. (nor did it ever seem like an issue that it was so 'standard')

    Strange.

    I guess i don't really understand the purpose of standardizing it yet. "Tourism" So the reason is that the state benefits because they can ensure the school year doesn't interfere with tourism?
    Think Six Flags.... Sea World... places like that have to have an operating schedule and hire people accordingly. They are open every day during the summer months, but only on weekends during school. If all the districts in the state can make their own schedule, it is very hard to set a schedule for huge places like these to be open. The state makes a lot of money from taxes from these places, plus they employ a large number of people, so it is in the state's best interest to help them out.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GloriaInTX View Post
    Think Six Flags.... Sea World... places like that have to have an operating schedule and hire people accordingly. They are open every day during the summer months, but only on weekends during school. If all the districts in the state can make their own schedule, it is very hard to set a schedule for huge places like these to be open. The state makes a lot of money from taxes from these places, plus they employ a large number of people, so it is in the state's best interest to help them out.
    Not really. We have amusement parks here too and they can actually extend the tourist season by having staggering start/end dates. DD1's summer runs May 25th - August 13th; ours is June 21st - the day after Labor Day. Thus, they can extend Magic Mountain's operating calendar by 6 weeks! They employ high school/college students from all over the county, so it's never been a problem to staff the park.

    Also, spring break fluctuates. Magic Mountain is open for (I think) 3 or 4 weeks in March - April because it varies so much. It seems the tourist attractions work around the schools' calendars instead of the other way around.

    Is spring break standardized in TX?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ethanwinfield View Post
    Not really. We have amusement parks here too and they can actually extend the tourist season by having staggering start/end dates. DD1's summer runs May 25th - August 13th; ours is June 21st - the day after Labor Day. Thus, they can extend Magic Mountain's operating calendar by 6 weeks! They employ high school/college students from all over the county, so it's never been a problem to staff the park.

    Also, spring break fluctuates. Magic Mountain is open for (I think) 3 or 4 weeks in March - April because it varies so much. It seems the tourist attractions work around the schools' calendars instead of the other way around.

    Is spring break standardized in TX?
    Spring break isn't standardized but since start dates are standardized within about 2 weeks spring break usually falls within about a 2 week period also. The tourist attractions do work around the school calendars that is the whole point. The amusement parks have to factor in the cost to open vs. the amount of business they will get, and if the school calendar is staggered too much they will probably choose not to open during the week because it costs them more to be open if they are not operating at capacity. CA may be different because they get more out of state tourism where TX is depending more on in-state tourism. I don't think that many people come to TX just to go to Six Flags.
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    Eh, I wish more students went on a year round calendar-- mostly bc it is best for learning-- and since I think that should be the top priority of our schools (and of our nation, frankly.)

    I think decisions should be made by individual educators and districts, not by some state law.

    Here something like this would never fly-- bc like California our "tourist" season varies widely. In the mountains, it runs from Thanksgiving to Easter (ski season) and on the Front Range it is the summer months......
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