Summer break could gain 2 weeks

Summer break could gain 2 weeks

There are 39 comments on the Honolulu Star-Bulletin story from Aug 21, 2008, titled Summer break could gain 2 weeks. In it, Honolulu Star-Bulletin reports that:

Two years after being adopted, Hawaii's unified public school calendar is expected to be changed tonight.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Honolulu Star-Bulletin.

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Dan

United States

#1 Aug 21, 2008
When i was in Highschool, i also felt that summer was way to long, stretching into 10-12 weeks whereas xmas break and spring barely occupied a week or so during the year.

During summer, i was bored after the first 7 or so weeks. xmas and spring was way too short that i felt i was burned out and didn't have enough time to recover.

i say do a compromise and make summer 8 or 9 weeks and keep xmas and spring break around 2 weeks or so.

Also, like the article says, focus on making the students pass the first time around, not give them more time to make it up during the summer.
edumakashon

Lihue, HI

#2 Aug 21, 2008
It seems like the main purpose for the change is to accommodate the students that didn't pass their classes the first time so they can retake the classes they failed. If they flunked and didn't put in the effort to pass in the first place, why should the schools be so accommodating to these students?
journeygurl777

Mililani, HI

#3 Aug 21, 2008
No wonder the students do not seem to be learning, the DOE and BOE are so screwed up. I agree with edumakasho's comment, we are accommodating the students who fail so that they can take summer school. Cant the DOE and BOE get their act together? They keep changing things every few years, they can't get it straight. GOD help us all.
macuu222

Kamuela, HI

#4 Aug 21, 2008
Almost all the schools on the mainland have 3 month summers (June July and August). It's been the standard for decades and has worked well for summer school students. Why should Hawaii be any different.

I say instead of 2 weeks...make them gain 4 weeks and fall in line with the rest of the country with no fall break (why does anyone need a fall break?)...one week for Christmas and one week for spring break.
Pono

Keauhou, HI

#5 Aug 21, 2008
The BOE is fiddling while Rome burns.

This decision is NOT student centered, and will NOT help much of anything.

Principal Monte is absolutely right.

Why isn't the BOE doing something about the overall poor performance of the DOE and huge wasted money by the bureaucracy? Because the public is easily fooled by this kind of smoke and mirrors policymaking.

Disband the BOE! Or, at the very least vote the bums out!

Decentralize the DOE!

Open up more public charter schools!
Translator

Keauhou, HI

#6 Aug 21, 2008
macuu222 wrote:
Almost all the schools on the mainland have 3 month summers (June July and August). It's been the standard for decades and has worked well for summer school students. Why should Hawaii be any different.
I say instead of 2 weeks...make them gain 4 weeks and fall in line with the rest of the country with no fall break (why does anyone need a fall break?)...one week for Christmas and one week for spring break.
The "traditional" summer break was designed to allow students to help with the harvest in an agrarian society. For example, Kona schools had the "coffee schedule" where the kids' "summer" was the coffee harvesting season.

Times change, and education should change with it.

This "change" by the Bored of Edumacashun is the opposite of change.
Concerned for others

Ewa Beach, HI

#7 Aug 21, 2008
I think the 1 week break in October, then the 2 weeks in Dec/Jan, followed by a 2 week break in March is punishment for parents. I know other parents that feel the same way. There are hardly any intersessions that offer childcare during that time. My parents are older, and barely able to care for themselves, so they're in a care home. Siblings are spread out in different places.

I think it's about time they gave up the 2 weeks break in Winter and Spring, and instead, extend the summer. Do you know there are notices sent home from school saying to the parents to NOT take any vacations during the school year?

Students are not learning because of a variety of reasons. To expect the teachers and the school staff to ensure that ALL the students get the individualized lessons is ridiculous!

They have to take every student in their area from the ones that didn't have kindergarten, or that came from another culture that doesn't value home teaching up through the ones who are reading or writing at the next grade level. English language learners are still expected to keep up with school work. Students that are involved in other groups like chorus, or a robotics team are expected to attend meetings after school when they might use that time to do homework instead. There are robotics teams starting from 1st grade, and hopefully being part of these things encourages the students to use time wisely, or at least learn how to manage or mismanage time, and the consequences of that.

How many parents are really involved in their children's learning after going to work, possibly working 2 jobs (where do the parents who have 2 jobs take their kids during all those breaks?), and being able to get dinner ready. If the children are younger, that means additional getting them bathed, teeth brushed, and reading them a story, or listening to them read a story because that's also asked of the parents by the schools to encourage vocabulary development and exposure to grammar.

For those of you who think otherwise, I challenge you to volunteer in a nearby school and see first-hand how much the teachers have to do.
Eds

Honolulu, HI

#8 Aug 21, 2008
Stupid BOE, some of us have been telling them the implications a shorter summer long ago and instead of listening to us, they made a mandatory change and now they change it back. Just goes to show, they is wishy washy.
Moa Kaka

Honolulu, HI

#9 Aug 21, 2008
Why not just have "regular" school all year long? The kids can have 12 months of uninterrupted learning (with appropriate breaks after each quater so they and teachers don't burn out). That way, the year-long schooling would be under the same teacher with the curriculum spaced out to cover the whole year.

Instead, the kids now get 9 months of regular school, and then in the summer go to a different teacher who may not know the individual students or their abilities, and take class that have 10 weeks of information in them. It just seems like the break between "regular" and "summer school" isn't really warranted. Just add the summer to regular instruction time.

Oh, and teachers can get additional education at night, just like the way the rest of us working stiffs do it.
Just a thought

Honolulu, HI

#10 Aug 21, 2008
The current scheduled was modified after an expensive and thorough poll was taken including input from teachers, parents, students, and administrators. Then all the schools, excepts charters, were required to align to the same schedule. Now, with just a few people making the decision, it all changes? Whether the new or old schedule is better is beside my point - why spend all the time and money to have open and clear discussions for alignment, then throw it all out? Who REALLY is behind this?
surfer dude honolulu

Lake Oswego, OR

#11 Aug 21, 2008
Most mainland schools, unless they are on a year-round system, start the day after labor day and end the sometime after Memorial Day. There is a week break for Christmas and a week break for spring. No fall break, no 3 weeks Christmas and no two weeks spring. That is 30 "school days" alone, not including all the federal and state school days off--the number is over 40 days off during the school year. Hawaii kids have waaay to much time on their hands and our state school rankings show it. We are the bottom of the pile.
Mards

Courtenay, Canada

#12 Aug 21, 2008
Here in BC (Canada), school runs from the day after Labour Day to the end of June and is from 9a to 3p. The kids have 2 wks at spring and 2 wks at Xmas. This is so much better than what they had in Maui which was year round. I hated all those intersessions and professional development days tacked on to holiday weekends. Was really difficult for working parents to juggle day care.
Logic 101

Kahului, HI

#13 Aug 21, 2008
Jeezus! They're changing the school schedule YET AGAIN? At least as long as MY kids have been in school, the schedule is constantly changing. Makes it a bit difficult to plan family vacations.
Logic 101

Kahului, HI

#14 Aug 21, 2008
Again my idea for replacing the messed up BOE. Staff most of the Board with PARENT VOLUNTEERS, who rotate every six months with other parents. These parents will be unpaid. This will mean that people WHO ACTUALLY CARE ABOUT THE EDUCATION AND BENEFIT OF THE SCHOOL CHILDREN will be making decisions on their educational behalf, free of personal financial motivation. Also there would be fresh eyes, fresh ideas, fresh perspectives, fresh decisions.

The Board would consist of one or two PAID board members, who will help the parent volunteers with the process of decision making, as well as the paid support and clerical staff.

The Parent Board Members will not be elected. Rather, an application process would be initiated, which would create a large pool of potential members, and every six months a volunteer from each school district will be randomly chosen. Recruitment/Application would be ongoing and feed into the pool of volunteers. And if the pool is smaller, then the old volunteers would be able to again serve another term.
ANONYMOUS

Kilauea, HI

#15 Aug 21, 2008
Whatever it takes to avoid the past matriculation problems and all that is associated with it should be well worth it.
Pualani

Honolulu, HI

#16 Aug 21, 2008
edumakashon wrote:
It seems like the main purpose for the change is to accommodate the students that didn't pass their classes the first time so they can retake the classes they failed. If they flunked and didn't put in the effort to pass in the first place, why should the schools be so accommodating to these students?
I used to go to summer school to take subjects that I was not really interested in so that I could get it out of the way. My friends took summer school to have something to do. Not all of summer school is remedial.
Johannes

Plano, TX

#17 Aug 21, 2008
Why, back when i was a sprout we hiked to school uphill 25 miles both ways with no shoes through a thorn patch in the winter while it was snowing and sleeting acid rain and it was eating the clothes off our backs carrying 85 pounds of books in my knapsack and chewing shoe leather because that was all we had to eat for breakfast for 18 hours a day.
Johannes

Plano, TX

#18 Aug 21, 2008
Makes about as much sense as it does for teachers to have to use their own lousy income to buy school supplies so that they can do their job. That stuff ought to be provided for as part of a suitable work and educational environment. If the BOE cant afford textbooks then close the schools, kick the students out, and make all the schools into religious retreats. Sheeesh. Good Gawd the BOE should get a clue and focus on the task at hand. Education with extreme prejudice. Why should any teacher have to spend their own money to buy classroom supplies and why should a school as part of the Hawaiian education system have to have fundraisers to buy supplies that should come out of the BOE / state education budget.....Because the politicos cant make common sense budgeting decisions.
visitor

Philadelphia, PA

#19 Aug 21, 2008
surfer dude honolulu wrote:
Most mainland schools, unless they are on a year-round system, start the day after labor day and end the sometime after Memorial Day. There is a week break for Christmas and a week break for spring. No fall break, no 3 weeks Christmas and no two weeks spring. That is 30 "school days" alone, not including all the federal and state school days off--the number is over 40 days off during the school year. Hawaii kids have waaay to much time on their hands and our state school rankings show it. We are the bottom of the pile.
Yes,"dude", you are correct. I am a retired teacher from Pennsylvania. They need to give these kids every educational advantage available. More time off is not wise. Kids these days are often not encouraged enough to "think/dream about what to be when they grow up" and not enough parents take the time to take this "dream" seriously. This "dream" has inspired many a leader and a "doer"in our world. Parents need to be involved in these aspirations..they are, in deed, important. These kids are our future.
sam4dn

Euless, TX

#20 Aug 21, 2008
Pualani wrote:
<quoted text>
I used to go to summer school to take subjects that I was not really interested in so that I could get it out of the way. My friends took summer school to have something to do. Not all of summer school is remedial.
I went to summer school twice.
After the 2nd grade so I had something to do.
Before my senior year to get a mandatory class out of the way.
I still had a full schedule for that last year even though I qualified for a half day schedule. But what else was I going to do?
I actually needed only one class to graduate but I believe the law was that I needed to be in school at least until lunch time.

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