School Suggestion

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School Suggestion

Postby Sylvie » Mon Oct 31, 2011 12:54 pm

I think school needs to cancel April vacation. Merrimack needs to lead this paradigm shift!!

What do people think?
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Re: School Suggestion

Postby ggkrupp » Mon Oct 31, 2011 1:40 pm

Sylvie - I don't know about April vacation but I would be all for canceling the February one ... I'd rather the kids got out a week earlier in the Summer than have this break which is always a challenge to accommodate for us.
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Re: School Suggestion

Postby MissyB » Mon Oct 31, 2011 5:04 pm

My suggestion is that Feb. and April vacations are combined into one week in March. That would provide another 5 days for weather, but what about the teachers' conracts?
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Re: School Suggestion

Postby Sylvie » Tue Nov 01, 2011 7:55 am

I think we need to get rid of November 11th Veterans' Day for sure. January 16 MLK day should be removed as a day off as well. April 10th teacher workshop should be rescheduled.
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Re: School Suggestion

Postby townielifer » Sun Nov 06, 2011 5:21 pm

I'm all for getting rid of February vacation as well. I do like the April vacation right where it is though.

As much as I would like to see the kids in school on November 11th (I think the holiday would have a greater meaning as lessons could revolve around Veteran's Day and its meaning) apparently it is state law that school can't be held (according to an article in the Union Leader today) on Veteran's Day or Memorial Day.
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Re: School Suggestion

Postby ggkrupp » Mon Nov 07, 2011 8:06 am

townielifer wrote:As much as I would like to see the kids in school on November 11th (I think the holiday would have a greater meaning as lessons could revolve around Veteran's Day and its meaning) apparently it is state law that school can't be held (according to an article in the Union Leader today) on Veteran's Day or Memorial Day.


Interesting ... didn't know there was a law regarding this
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Re: School Suggestion

Postby jjgrady » Mon Nov 07, 2011 9:02 am

ggkrupp wrote:
townielifer wrote:As much as I would like to see the kids in school on November 11th (I think the holiday would have a greater meaning as lessons could revolve around Veteran's Day and its meaning) apparently it is state law that school can't be held (according to an article in the Union Leader today) on Veteran's Day or Memorial Day.


Interesting ... didn't know there was a law regarding this



It goes back to the 1970's under the administration of former New Hampshire Governor Meldrim Thomson. When the federal "Monday" holiday law was passed, many did not like the idea of celebrating/honoring Memorial Day and Veterans Day on days other than the traditional dates. Veterans Day was understandable because of the significance of the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month, but I could never understand the fuss over Memorial Day since May 30th was an arbitrarily chosen date. The New Hampshire legislature in their wisdom voted to move the state's observances of these holidays back to the traditional dates, the only state in the nation to do so. This caused a great deal of confusion as many folks who worked out of state had the federal days off which did not coincide with the New Hampshire dates. It raised havoc with attendance at schools due to parental work schedules. Some school districts close to state borders set up their calendars using the federal dates. Governor Thomson fought for and was successful in getting a law passed making it illegal for New Hampshire pulblic schools to be in session on the state deisgnated days. As I recall there was a clause in the law that provided for fining those school board members who violated the law. So much for local control.

Much of this became moot when Congress returned Veterans Day back to the traditional day of November 11th and when the New Hampshire legislature regained its senses and voted to have our state observe Memorial Day with the rest of the United States. Without having the law in front of me, I believe that school districts are still required to celebrate/honor those days with school not being in session.
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Re: School Suggestion

Postby Sylvie » Tue Nov 08, 2011 7:47 am

Interesting...I never had Veteran's Day off when I went to MMK schools. Interesting law if it is valid. Very dissappoionted that they did not take at least January 13th and April 10 (Teacher's Workshops) off the books. They canceled school last year for the slightest of snow a few times! Definitely school will go past June 20th next year!!
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Re: School Suggestion

Postby sabrina » Tue Nov 08, 2011 8:43 am

What about the numerous "teacher workshops"? Why should those be part of the 180 days, they should either do half days or the teachers should do their workshops after school or on a Saturday. I'd rather them do that then take away the kids vacations....
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Re: School Suggestion

Postby JMP » Tue Nov 08, 2011 5:18 pm

The teacher workshops are NOT included in the 180 days. I teach in another district, but most teachers have to work more than 180 days.

When we had the May floods several years ago, my district (again, not Merr.) applied for a waiver for the students and got it. The teachers had to fulfill all of the contract days, including the ones the state waived for the students, after the students finished for the year.

No one, including teachers, wants to be in school when it is hot. In reading the Merrimack Patch web-site, it seems the calendar is still in "good shape" and the superintendent is ready to revisit the situation should it be necessary.
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Re: School Suggestion

Postby sabrina » Tue Nov 08, 2011 5:23 pm

JMP wrote:The teacher workshops are NOT included in the 180 days. I teach in another district, but most teachers have to work more than 180 days. When we had the May floods several years ago, my district (again, not Merr.) applied for a waiver, got it, but the teachers still had to fulfill the contracted days and we did willingly. No one, including the teachers, want to be in school when it is hot.



Right, it affects the school year so the kids have to take those days off which should be part of the 180 days but instead they have to go to school almost in July. The kids should NOT be penalized for those teacher workshops, I think they should take place either before or after school or on a Saturday, this would eliminate all of these debates.
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Re: School Suggestion

Postby andysinnh » Wed Nov 09, 2011 11:29 am

I still believe that school districts should build a calendar out of teachable hours rather than physical days, as it provides much more flexibility in terms of snow days and when the school year can start/end. My wife's district, after the ice storm of 2008, changed to teachable hours and added 20 minutes to each school day, even through this year. As such they get out of school the first week of June, and have some snow days built into their calendar that they can absorb for situations like last week. Not sure the status or ability of Merrimack to go this route, but would definitely be a consideration.

Also, in terms of getting rid of a week of vacation, I'd be on board with combining the 2 weeks into a more centrally-timed single week - but you need to plan for that since many families have non-refundable vacations already scheduled for one of the two weeks that are on the calendar. One could argue the value of 2 vacations vs a single one, but if you're going to make a change (or get rid of one of them), I think that there will be financial impacts for some families if it's done in the middle of an in-progress year....

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Re: School Suggestion

Postby RBarnes » Thu Nov 10, 2011 9:15 am

andysinnh wrote:My wife's district, after the ice storm of 2008, changed to teachable hours and added 20 minutes to each school day, even through this year.


I can see how that works in a lower grade where you have 1 teacher all day but how does that work in higher grades like high school where you have individual classes broken out by periods?
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Re: School Suggestion

Postby sabrina » Thu Nov 10, 2011 9:20 am

RBarnes wrote:
andysinnh wrote:My wife's district, after the ice storm of 2008, changed to teachable hours and added 20 minutes to each school day, even through this year.


I can see how that works in a lower grade where you have 1 teacher all day but how does that work in higher grades like high school where you have individual classes broken out by periods?


Add a few minutes to each class/period
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Re: School Suggestion

Postby andysinnh » Thu Nov 10, 2011 9:55 am

sabrina wrote:
RBarnes wrote:
andysinnh wrote:My wife's district, after the ice storm of 2008, changed to teachable hours and added 20 minutes to each school day, even through this year.


I can see how that works in a lower grade where you have 1 teacher all day but how does that work in higher grades like high school where you have individual classes broken out by periods?


Add a few minutes to each class/period

Correct - the whole day stretched - and while it doesn't sound like much, it does add instruction time and time for teachers to assist in class. I also believe that her district played with their block schedule to better accomodate the slightly longer day. She teaches in HS, and has found that the longer days actually have some value to her style....

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