Snow days prompt appeal for a change in school calendar

(Mark Humphrey/Associated Press)
January 31, 2011

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AS A retired teacher, I have been able to enjoy the vistas of unbroken snow that reach the windows. But I am also recalling the futility of teaching my high school students through the winter weeks of snow days. As educators know, students need consistency and organization in order to best learn. Random days off from school provide neither. In a few short weeks, students will be off again for February vacation. Given that we can’t change the weather, this winter should be a good reason for administrators to again pursue a change in the school calendar.

For years, I have advocated for a schedule that eliminated both the February and April vacations, and instead added a week’s break in March. Such a schedule would provide a less choppy routine for students, and would still allow for a few long weekends in January and February and probably a few snow days, too. Most important, however, such a calendar change is educationally sound.

Perhaps now, with the sharp focus on education that is coming from all corners, planners will make a simple change that will have a big impact on student learning.

Christine Beagan