I have often been jealous of a friend of mine who works in a Maryland district that follows a year-round school calendar. Common sense would suggest that the less time you spend away from practicing a skill the less time you will need to resharpen it. In Virginia, at least, when it comes to competing with the China’s and Japan’s of the world, academically, we are more concerned with our kids getting in one more roller coaster ride than solving complex math equations.
It used to be that all VA schools began after Labor Day, but there are currently 79 of the 132 school divisions opening before Labor Day…got to love the inequity of a waiver process (I wonder how many of those waivers are within 30 miles of King’s Dominion?). Criminal research suggests that more crimes occur during hotter months. Considering this as one angle of support, getting our children, many of whom are left to their own supervision and devices, off the neighborhood streets and back into school is a tremendous incentive in and of itself to support 1063.
Further supporting the benefit of an earlier school start date is the SOL testing calendar. While school calendars in the Commonwealth may vary, this does not…yet another inequity. With this in mind, it would behoove a school division to start their school year earlier as a means to maximize instructional time before students are tested on the standards.
Selfishly, I would much prefer a long weekend off in September after a few weeks back to work than starting the school year off on a four day week…that, and I am more a Busch Gardens guy.