Who’s behind a Balanced Calendar?

February 8th, 2022 by Ken

Who’s leading the effort to get school districts to go to what is called a “Balanced Calendar?  It’s not the parents and its not the teachers union.  The ones leading the effort are a number of sociologists, some of them working for the Superintendent of Public Instructions (SPI) and some in the nation’s capitol.

According to social scientists, the current school calendar, with an 11 week summer vacation, contributes to learning problems for minorities and other disadvantaged youths, who regress in learning when out of school for nearly three months.

That is the whole purpose of the balanced calendar.  To help youth get through the summer without forgetting all they learned the previous school year.

North Thurston is one of several school districts in the state looking at adopting the new school calendar.  The effort is being funded with grants from SPI.

Other than sociologists and a few other children advocates, it seems that no one is currently waving the banner in favor of this new school year concept.  Teacher union members, who have a great deal of say in all school matters, are still trying to ascertain the impact on teachers.  Particular concerns center around using the 11 weeks of summer to get additional education.  Some teachers say they need more time in the summer to unwind and step away from thinking about teaching.  They need to recharge their batteries.

Parents aren’t  jumping for joy either.  Questions of child care and the impact on student athletes are some of the most asked.

Even if the North Thurston School Board falls in love with the idea of a “Balanced Calendar” it won’t happen this year.  Teachers have already received some of their assignments for the upcoming school year.

As far as I know, there is no time frame to adopt the new school calendar, although I expect SPI would want to  gather all the information from the various school districts before taking any action.

Who’s the final decision-maker on all of this?  I don’t know.  It’s probably the state.  But, it should be the parents.  They need to listen carefully to what the “Balanced Calendar” is, and how it works.  Then, with good information, they should see that the school board take the appropriate action.

Posted in Government, Local Politics, The Real News

(comments are closed).