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Old 01 June 2013, 05:07 PM
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JoeBentley JoeBentley is offline
 
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Default Why Do We Still Have Summer Vacation?

Quote:
Forget the argument about a calendar built around an agrarian economy. It was urbanization that created summer as we know it—and now we can’t imagine doing anything else.
http://www.psmag.com/education/why-d...acation-58994/
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Old 01 June 2013, 11:26 PM
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Latiam Latiam is offline
 
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One middle school teacher, Heather Wolpert-Gawron, wrote that teachers are working throughout the summer, taking classes and attending “conferences or seminars to learn new strategies in order to fill in gaps that might exist in your current curriculum units.
This is actually true.

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Adult humans,” she explained, “aren’t built to spend their days with hundreds of children each day. It takes a lot out of an adult to have their antennae up so high, so often, and so consistently.”

She might be wrong about the facts (is it really true that teachers are unable to teach effectively without a few months in the summer off?)
Yes, yes it is. I spend the first three weeks of the summer sacked out, thoroughly exhausted. And here it is two months.

Also, most of our schools still don't have air conditioning. Well, at least half.
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Old 02 June 2013, 08:03 PM
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Hero_Mike Hero_Mike is offline
 
 
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The argument here in Arizona - at least among my co-workers who have been here longer than me - is that even with A/C it is impractical to have students in school in the summer. It's too hot outside for any kind of sports or outdoor activity, and the seasonally higher cost of electricity is also a factor.

Back in Canada, the argument about schools being "closed for business" in the summer pretty much coincided with how all road construction takes place in the summer. Maintenance is hard in winter - it's even harder in occupied buildings. A business may relocate some of its employees to a satellite office, while their usual office is being repaired or renovated, but it's a bit much to ask that for children who usually walk to a school. If they aren't walking, they're still usually coming to the closest school to them. And while it does happen that a school closing means bus transport even for inner-city kids, it's not convenient.
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Old 03 June 2013, 03:39 AM
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Latiam Latiam is offline
 
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Good point. The caretakers also do almost all of the heavy cleaning in the summers while the kids are gone too.

Most classrooms will have these blue marks where Fun-Tak (sticky-tack) has not been fully removed from the walls. I don't add to it and always make sure mine is removed, but I could only gaze at the sight of it up above my head (I'm not supposed to climb on anything, including stairs). We came back last summer and discovered that the temporary custodian had removed it from every single room. She was awesome.We're still sad she got pushed out by someone with higher seniority (who then retired two months later. Grrr).

But anyway, they take all the desks and furniture out of every room, clean it, wax it, and put it back in. Among other things.
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Old 03 June 2013, 02:21 PM
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We're very rural around here; the agricultural reasons behind summer break are very valid. There are schools in the immediate vicinity that refuse to start until after the State Fair ends because of the number of kids exhibiting that would be absent.
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Old 03 June 2013, 09:02 PM
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Hero_Mike Hero_Mike is offline
 
 
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Even the breaks associated with "year-round schooling" have to be long enough to do the major maintenance involved - the kind which can't be done over a weekend. Just the simple job of repainting a single classroom would involve a lot of work to move furniture and so on. And you wouldn't be able to paint while the building is occupied.

There's a question - for one of those "year-round schooling" schedules, how long are the breaks? Two weeks at a time? One week?
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Old 03 June 2013, 09:17 PM
Dr. Dave Dr. Dave is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hero_Mike View Post
There's a question - for one of those "year-round schooling" schedules, how long are the breaks? Two weeks at a time? One week?
I've seen 9 weeks on and 3 weeks off. I've read that it varies 6-9 weeks on and 2-4 weeks off. One of the breaks winds up being 2-3 weeks longer than the others, so I guess about a month for at least one break.
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Old 03 June 2013, 09:34 PM
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My cousins kids went to year-round school. IIRC, they had so many weeks on & then 2 weeks off plus a district wide 6 week break in the summer (July & 2 weeks in August). They really liked it. The way it worked was that the district was divided into sections & every 2 weeks a new section would have their break.
I like the idea of year-round school mainly because I'd like to vacation during the normal school year when others are in school. Vacationing during the summer is hotter & more expensive.
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Old 03 June 2013, 09:41 PM
Dr. Dave Dr. Dave is offline
 
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And fewer lines at popular family-with-kids destinations. (Not joking.)
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