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i Aug 31st 2 Comments by

Feedback from many SOS members over the back-to-school week suggests that few people in the Champlain Valley are aware of the Calendar 2.0 proposal, and many of those who are aware do not believe that it will be adopted. We need to spread the word that this reform, which will have far-reaching consequences for the entire Valley, is very likely to be implemented if the community does not respond.
Please share the posting below with your friends and colleagues.

A year-round school proposal, called Calendar 2.0, will reduce summer vacation by several weeks and create longer vacation blocks throughout the year. For students performing below standards, remedial intercessions will take the place during the vacation times. The plan, which appears to have been formulated without input from parents, teachers, or other community members, is being fast -tracked for implementation by the Champlain Valley Superintendents Association- despite mounting practical and financial concerns. A statement by a CVSA member (reported in several local papers last month) sums up where things are in the decision-making process:

“According to Milton School Superintendent John Barone, the group (CVSA) has reached consensus that at least part of Calendar 2.0 will happen in fall 2014, with full implementation after that. “We have committed as a group that this is a proposal we want to move forward with,” Barone said. “A majority of us want to go forward with full implementation in 2014/2015, but a lot depends on this meeting and the public forums.” (http://miltonindependent.com/exploring-new-school-calendar/)

The CVSA is hosting four meetings in October to elicit feedback from the community. These meetings will be the only chance community members will have to voice concerns and ask questions before the CVSA votes on the new calendar. Questions that remain unanswered include:

  • Why is this particular calendar being embraced despite research that shows that year-round calendars have no effect on academic achievement or behavior?
  • How will intercession remediation programming be organized, staffed, housed, and paid for without requiring more time of school staff or increasing the school budget?
  • Why is the development and expansion of innovative summer learning programs-widely recommended by many sources including those on the CVSA website- not being explored as a solution for regression and a way to provide enrichment opportunities for disadvantaged youth?
  • How will scheduling conflicts with other schools and off-season childcare organizations be reconciled?
  • What is the compelling scientific rationale that predicts sufficient and specifically-defined benefit to justify the sacrifice of several weeks of Vermont summer-an established and practical time for learning, enrichment, rejuvenation, and employment opportunities?

Share your voice and bring your questions. Insist that educational reform be change for the sake of progress, not change for the sake of change. Mark your calendars and plan to attend!

Oct 2 Essex HS
Oct 3 BFA St Albans
Oct 9 Burlington HS
Oct 10 CVU

All meetings begin at 6:30 pm.

Comments

  1. Concerned Parent
    September 6, 2013 at 5:57 pm

    I really don’t understand the point of this proposed change. What problem is it intended to solve? What improvements are expected? I don’t see any good answers to either of those questions. Either there is a hidden agenda to this proposal or it is just change for the sake of change. Either way, I’m opposed.

    Reply
  2. Tim Brockmyre
    September 11, 2013 at 1:53 am

    It appears as if the CVSA is implementing this program because of their incompetence. 70% of Vermont schools do not meet federal guidelines and this is the plan that they have come up with to bring up the level of the lowest performers. No consideration is beng given to the majority of kids who thrive under the current system or to the kids that actually exceed the guidelines.

    One of the studies they quote was done in 1906! Do they have any evidence that this program will be effective for the majority of kids in the21st century? Some of the claims they are making about the current system are beyond ridiculous and seem more like scare tactics to push their agenda. For example, they claim that kids can somehow lose three months of learning over summer break and by reducing the summer break they will prevent this. Another claim they make is that children are bored over the long summer break. Even If that is true, than it’s a parenting issue, not a school issue.
    Let’s stop this

    Reply

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