Friday, April 18, 2014

Considering Calendars

We had a little bit of ice here this winter. It made some traffic messes and some logistical fun for families, especially when school wasn't cancelled until early morning.

But a different kind of storm played out today.

See, school calendars are rather complicated things. A district needs to have the proper number of days of school and also have space for an ever-expanding list of holidays and observances. And summer needs to be long enough, and winter break, and spring break... graduation dates are set far in advance, so adding days to the end of the year is not an option.

Our local school district built two 'inclement weather' holidays into the calendar this year, and wouldn't you know it? We needed to make up both of those days...

Good Friday and Memorial Day.
Yep.  A major Christian day of obligation, and a federal holiday. On two weekends when families often travel.

To put it mildly, folks are ticked. The district website has pages and pages of comments with many suggestions, most impossible to implement in midstream. (My favorite? "Make them those Jewish holidays, or that Martin Luther Day.") The district sent home a letter letting us know that yes, we all have the right to fulfill our religious obligations--here's how to make it an excused absence.

My sons attend a large campus and report that it was a ghost town--three or less people in each of their classes, until fifth period when the teachers just let them hang out with a science teacher for the rest of the day. So hooray, they got to play with magnesium ribbon.

Best part of this story--next year's calendar is online.  The make-up days? 
Good Friday and Memorial Day.
Hopefully we'll have a milder winter... and no hurricanes.

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