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171 comments:

  1. I work at a high school in a room with no windows or ventilation. Is there a plan to install air conditioning? Schools are brutally hot in May, June, and September-August will be even hotter. I don't see how this would be a healthy or productive learning or working environment without air conditioning.

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    1. Facility needs are certainly among the topics for consideration. Superintendents will be working with building/facilities leadership to gather data around facility temperatures/use and then explore potential options/solutions. Temperature concerns identified may need to be addressed regardless of any potential changes to the calendar, as students are currently in school from late August through mid-June. We encourage you to share this concern with your school leadership.

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    2. Was this data ever collected? this question was from last spring and the data should have been collected over the last summer?

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  2. I think the biggest concern attached to this proposal would (and should) be for all the students who take AP classes/exams and the teachers who teach these classes. There is so much material to get through before the *nationally set* AP exam dates in early May. Does this calendar ensure that teachers get the SAME (or greater) number of days with students before the first two weeks of May as the old calendar did? Moreover, I notice that the first week of May is now part of an intersession. Would schools still be available for hosting of the AP exams if the test date occurs during this intersession?

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    1. AP testing is important for many students and something that must taken under consideration. The intersessions, which are not yet firmly identified, may provide a unique opportunity for students to have dedicated time, without juggling their school day schedules, to take these exams. Schools, as they do now, will continue to try to accommodate a testing environment for this purpose.

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    2. Testing as a part of the intersessions might be less intrusive to the rest of the AP students classes.

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  3. I don't think this will be nearly as productive. School breaks are usually used for relaxation as opposed to work time, yet the relaxation will not be as ample as if the bulk of it were in the summer as usual. Shortening the summer vacation period to two months will decrease happiness, enjoyment, and quality relaxation time, and will thus decrease students' productivity and willingness to work hard. It would be much more difficult, unnecessarily, for teachers and students alike.

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    1. I am not sure how I feel about this proposal yet - reading through the materials to educate myself. Do you have empirical data to support your claim of decreased student productivity and engagement. Please share your source so that I may review and consider it. Thanks!

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    2. Thanks so much for taking the time to educate yourself about this proposal. Please check out the "Resources" page, which will continue to be updated with pertinent links and research articles.

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  4. I'm struggling to find things about this new calendar that I like. To me, it feels like pushing off onto families, many of whom are economically stressed, more erratic periods of down time into which they will now become responsible for programming their students' education. In one-parent households, or two-parent in which both parents work, extra child-care needs are introduced with no simple solutions. For kids, these "intersessions" are at best "breaks" and at worst "vacations" in which it will be difficult to socialize the need for improvement, remediation or independent study. What I'm seeing is that teachers get more prep time or down time during the regular year, but that feels like an indirect benefit for students against a direct hardship for families. I'd favor a move to year-round school over this.

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    1. We appreciate the concern families may feel related to the intersession periods. Please know, we are working with local organizations (such as Recreation and Parks, YMCA, businesses, etc.) to discuss opportunities for students and families. Also, it is important to note this proposed calendar preserves the current 175 student days. The calendar merely shifts student days into whole-week instructional periods, which provides continuity for students with their learning. The intersession periods may provide students with opportunities to apply and extend their learning, or enable them to have additional time with teachers, or participate in other activities. We hope you can join us at a public forum, to be scheduled sometime in the Fall, to discuss this calendar.

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    2. How would the intercessions lead to additional time with teachers? The teachers are not required to work during those intercession days.

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    3. The regional superintendents are exploring compensation mechanisms to support teachers' additional time during intersessions. In addition, this proposed calendar does not reflect local school districts' professional development days, which would be added in once the regional calendar is adopted.

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    4. If the regional superintendents are exploring compensation mechanisms than this proposed change would NOT be without cost.

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    5. It may be possible for school districts to implement this proposed calendar without increasing school budgets. For example, if teachers have opportunities to capture intersessions for professional development (PD) times, than those teachers would not have to call on substitutes during the school year for those PD opportunities. As such, school districts may be able to recapture money that would have been used for substitutes (thousands of dollars). This is just one example, and the regional superintendents are exploring a variety of options.

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    6. I have to disagree about how you are going to be working with local YMCA's and etc. A great deal of the towns in these counties are rural and do not have access to Boys and Girls clubs and etc, so it IS putting additional hardships on to the working families or econmically challanged families. It shoulds great for big towns like Burlington, Winooksi and Essex that have those programs in place but what about the smaller towns like Bakersfield, Fletcher, Fairfax, Westford and etc. that do not have these programs to rely on?

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    7. We share your concern about the resources for students and families available in smaller communities. Equity is very important. The YMCA is one organization among many that superintendents are reaching out to. Those superintendents with smaller school districts are very aware of the size/scope/resources within their communities, and are exploring both local and regional opportunities. We hope you can join us at an upcoming public forum in the fall to learn more.

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    8. Can I just add that some of the programs you are suggesting people utilize at alternatives for childcare during intersession weeks are "fine" or "ok" at keeping kids safe and even maybe preventing boredom, but they don't provide even CLOSE to the same level of enrichment as the magnificent wealth of summer programs available in Vermont in the summer. I also understand from talking to parents that many of these programs (e.g. City of Burlington programs and YMCA) are not necessarily perfect environments for the youngest group of children, who still need a slightly different supervisory approach. Are these kids just going to end up bored, sitting in their parents offices and shuttled around to patchwork babysitters/grandparents while working parents desperately try to...work?

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    9. Details around intersessions are still in the developmental process. In addition to connecting with out-of-school providers, and educators, Superintendents are hoping to connect with families to hear their thoughts about intersession possibilities. These possibilities range from camps, YMCA programs, in-depth programs at schools, etc. We hope you can join us at one (or more) of the October forums as we continue developing opportunities in education for all students.

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  5. Where can I find more specific information about the benefits of changing the existing calendar? I would like to review the studies performed that demonstrate the advantages of a calendar similar to the one proposed over a more traditional schedule. I read the power point slides and the information on the site, but perhaps I overlooked more specific resources?

    I ask because most organizational changes entail financial and non-financial costs, so I'd like to see a concrete analysis of the costs vs. the benefits. Most of what I have found is general and high-level summary information.

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    1. Regional superintendents are meeting next week to gather relevant research, which will soon be posted online (under a new "Research" page).

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    2. Can you provide a status update on the research? Thanks!

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    3. This week, the first Research post will be published on this web-site - with others to follow in the upcoming weeks. A new "Research" page will also be created.

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    4. I read through Research Post #1 and I would not argue with any of the information from Dufour and Marzano. Certainly American schools face challenges unlike any seen before. However, I am still a little unclear about how this proposed calendar will address those challenges. Can I expect that future research posts will show a direct correlation between those challenges and this proposed calendar?

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    5. The research posted in the first post, and in upcoming posts, all relate to opportunities within the proposed Calendar 2.0. Some research will address learning styles, how the brain works, and best ways to use blocks of time, while other research may point to best practices for teaching and learning. We will work to more clearly connect the posted research to various elements of the proposed calendar.

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  6. I must echo what many others have said - I am so incredibly skeptical on how this would turn out. Not only would a shortened summer lessen the amount of time kids get to BE KIDS in some of the best weather (generally) here in Vermont, but I think that the intercession periods would be so difficult for families with working parents (and on limited means).. you can say that you are working on things with the Y and other places, but all of those things still would require more running around for already harried families..
    There has been mention of remediation during the intercessions, and "possible enrichment." I can already see the first thing that will get cut when budget problems loom - the enrichment for advanced students. After all, the advanced students are already presumably doing their job at getting the high test scores that the schools are REALLY looking for... why give them something extra that won't change those scores?
    I also agree that environmental problems could really be huge. All the schools I have ever been in struggle when the temps get above 75... Again, the promise has been no increase in budget, so I am left wondering where the funds would come from to install working air conditioning in all the schools in the CCSU...
    All in all, I think it just sounds like a nightmare. Teachers would get more prep time during the breaks, but at what cost?
    This is NOT the direction I would like to see our schools go in..

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    1. Thank you for taking the time to list some concerns with Calendar 2.0. While this calendar is still conceptual, the regional superintendents are working to finalize many details (building climate, how students will have meaningful opportunities during intersessions, what partnerships with families/community organizations/schools/businesses can be created, etc.). We hope you will join us for more in-depth conversations at one of our public forums (being planned for the fall).

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  7. There are aspects of this calendar which are exciting and beneficial to students, teachers and parents. I appreciate the intention to try to balance change with tradition (creation of intersessions with maintaining a summer break.
    For schools that believe the best learning structure for students is to teach using a 4X4 block schedule (by semester, not alternating day) this calendar is problematic because the intersessions do not fall at appropriate times. For instance using the intersessions as the ending of a quarters and semesters the length of the quarters would be Q1=42 days, Q2=35 days, Q3=34 days, and Q4= 64 days; semesters would be S1=77 days and S2=98 days.
    Certainly there are solutions to this. One possible suggestion would be to start on August 13, move the first week long intersession back to October 13, move the Feb/Mar intersession to Mar 2-13, I'd shorten the April/May intersession to one week and make the last day June 5 and then run an intersession for two weeks in June. These adjustments would better align the length of quarters and semesters Q1=42 days, Q2=40 days, Q3=39 days Q4=53; S1=82 days S2=93. While this isn't perfect I think it could be more workable.

    I look forward to the discussion in the Fall. Thanks for getting the conversation started.

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  8. I would really like to see more comments from teachers here. What do they think? They are the ones directly involved with our children on a day to day basis. Are they on board with the idea of a shortened summer vacation? Do they support having so many week (or 2 week) long breaks throughout the school year? Do they feel this is more conducive to student learning? I would welcome their professional opinion.
    I personally see it as more disruptive: time off from school will be taken as just that - time off. Call it some fancy name like "intersessions" if you wish, but a day off from school is a day off from school in a kids mind.

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  9. As an educator, I agree with you Margaret. I think with all the breaks, it will cause students and teachers loss in momentum during the school year; too many stops and starts. And I agree, a day off from school is a day off from school. I, as a parent, make the most out of any learning opportunity that I can with my children. We visit museums and go on nature walks and learn, but if they knew they were learning-I would lose them- it would feel too much like work and not enough like fun. And learning should be fun and an everyday part of life. That is my goal with my own children. I don't want to change that. All to quickly are are children required to grow up.
    As of June 5th or so, in our school, the students have stopped being very productive in class. The weather is nicer, recreational sports have started, there are dance and music recitals and graduations. Students come to school tired from staying up late, because of activities and days being longer; so it is harder to go to bed earlier. We have limited good weather, daylight time in Vermont. Let's not spend it in school being unproductive. Classroom teachers are giving students many more and more activity/recess breaks, because they can not keep the students attention in class. I do not see how this new schedule is going to benefit students, families or teachers.
    The latest school should go in June is around June 5-7, because if you need to add on snow/flood days it could bring you up to June 13ish. Going to school, with the proposed calendar, until June 19th, adding on 5 snow/flood days brings us to June 26th. That is just too late in June to be going to school and actually accomplishing anything productive.
    However, I do like the idea of a longer break at Christmastime.
    Have you considered one intercession during the school year to accomplish what you would like to accomplish with the new schedule? There has got to be a better solution to providing extended learning to our students than this proposed plan.
    I would definitely suggest deleting the Oct. 'intersession' week, ending earlier in June and keeping the April break to one week.
    From a school nurse's perspective, I would suggest a week off earlier in February, when we typically see flu-like symptoms instead of the first week of March.

    It would be of benefit to the committee who is proposing this calendar schedule to include a variety of disciplines to get the most beneficial calendar plan possible.

    Sincerely,
    Kris

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  10. Honestly, I am not seeing the benefits to this new calendar. Refering to the "Premise Behind Shift", these are my observations:

    1. "Focus on student learning and achievment": As a parent of a 3rd grader, I find my child does well with a routine. After a school break, it typically takes him a few days to re-adjust to the back to school routine, and I know this affects this ability to focus and process the information being taught in school. This schedule introduces more school breaks during the year making it more difficult for our children to maintain the routine which helps them to stay focused.

    2. "Minimize Summer Regression": According to this schedule, students are still out of school for 7 - 8 weeks. I don't think starting school 5 days earlier and ending 5 days later will make a significant difference. The best way to avoid summer regression would be to increase the number of days students attend school. For instance, in Australia, students attend 220 days, in China - 260 days, in Japan - 240 days, Germany 240 - all with longer school hours. The US ranks as one of the shortest hours and number of days in the school year. Vermont has to be at one of the lowests with 175 days.

    3. "Maximize time within the number of 175 school days": I just don't see how this schedule maximizes time within the 175 days of the school year. I think teachers will loose the momentum and continuity of their lessons with all the breaks during the school year. Students already lose time with their teachers since teachers currently do professional development during these 175 days leaving our children with substitute teachers.

    4. "Intersessions for multiple purposes": During the April vacation, my son had to do a school project. This is typically a time when we plan a family vacation - to focus on family time. I vision with all these intersessions, students coming home with more projects and assignments. For children who have academic support at home, this is great, but what about those many students with working parents or lacking structure and support at home. They are a much greater risk for falling behind.

    5. "Supports better school climate": How does this schedule support a better school climate? I see this schedule adding additional stress on familes. Single parent families, families in which both parents are working, financially struggling familes... families will need to adjust their current schedules and finances to afford the additional day care costs. Many families only get 1 or 2 vacations a year. Some families don't get paid vacations from their employers. I understand previous comments stated the schools are working with organizations such as the YMCA to bring in such resources for childcare, but not all families can afford these additional costs. And, I also know that the Live Yers program at my son's school has a waiting list.

    6. "Embedded Professional Development": Teachers currently take time away from their students and classrooms for professional development. I can think of several occassions where my son had a 'guest teacher' because his teacher was at various curriculum/strategy and/or professional development meetings/sessions. How does this schedule change this? If this mean that ALL professional development will occur during the school breaks and not during scheduled student days, then yes, this schedule does accomplish this goal. But, if teachers continue to have subs to cover them while they attend professional development, then this schedule doesn't do much to resolve the current problem of teachers have subs to cover their classroom while they attend professional development.

    If the goal is to really improve our educational opportunities and minimize summer regression, then perhaps we should be considering increasing the number of days in the school year.

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  11. This calendar is called the "balanced calendar" and has been tried in many places.

    Research has found that students in “year-round” schools don't learn more than their peers in traditional nine-month schools, new research has found.A sociologist at Ohio State University found that, over a full year, math and reading test scores improved about the same amount for children in year-round schools as they did for students whose schools followed a traditional nine-month calendar.“We found that students in year-round schools learn more during the summer, when others are on vacation, but they seem to learn less than other children during the rest of the year,” said Paul von Hippel, author of the study and research statistician in sociology at Ohio State.

    The problem with year-round schools may be that they don't actually add more school days to the 180 typically required, von Hippel said. Instead of a three-month summer vacation, year-round schools typically have several breaks of three to four weeks spread throughout the year. The total number of school days and vacation days remains unchanged, but they are distributed more evenly over the calendar.

    Although school districts often adopt year-round schedules to help alleviate overcrowding, some educators have claimed that eliminating the long summer vacation will provide academic benefits for students.“The results don't support that claim,” von Hippel said.

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  12. I am wondering how the final decision will be made in regards to this calendar. Will the superintendents vote? If so, will the voting be made public?

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  13. I read Title 16 and found the answer to my first question. The decision will be made using majority vote.

    I am still interested in knowing whether the individual votes of each superintendent are a matter of public record and, therefore, will be shared with school boards, taxpayers and media.

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    1. You are correct that, per Vermont Statute (Title 16), regional superintendents are required to adopt school calendars - and CVSA has been doing so for several years. Decisions related to setting the calendars for subsequent school years are made in late winter/early spring during CVSA meetings. There are meeting minutes taken, which are public record (this is not any different than years past).

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    2. Most summer camp registration deadlines are in February/early March. Also, many families plan summer trips way in advance. When is this new calendar going to be announced? And why is this change being pushed through so quickly?

      I'm feeling like at the very least a 1 year advance notice should be given to allow families, businesses, camps, after school programs, extra curricular activities time to adjust their plans to accommodate such a big scheduling change.

      This change really does impact many different areas for kids and parents way beyond school. Giving everyone just a few months to change plans, redesign and reschedule long existing programs like summer swim teams, camps, etc., is not enough time. Why the rush???

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    3. The decision regarding the new school year calendar must be made by April 1 for the following year (per state statue). This means the decision for the 2014-2015 calendar will be made my Superintendents no later than April 1, 2014.

      This calendar has actually been years in the making, with the proposal being a culmination of data-gathering and research. Recently, the Superintendents have connected with several partner organizations (camps, libraries, childcare providers, etc.) to discuss how they would be impacted by this shift and how they could partner with schools to create new and unique opportunities for students and families (refer to an earlier post on this site regarding the Partner Summit). The next step will be for families and educators to have conversations around the proposed calendar and quality education in general. Conversations about the proposed calendar calendar can range from how to implement it, to how intersessions will work, to how organizations and schools can partner, to possibly phasing in aspects of Calendar 2.0, to whether or not an adjustment to the calendar is needed, to creating an implementation timeline. Opportunities are endless, and we're excited to have conversations with communities about education! We hope you can join us at one (or more) of the October forums!

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  14. I see the potential value in having a regular schedule with which to provide intensive supplemental services to students who need them. Here are some issues that need to be addressed in order to make this work:

    1)How will we address the equipment and electricity costs of air conditioning?
    2)How can families secure childcare during break times?
    3)How can families plan for vacation if their children might be pulled for supplemental services during any break period?
    4)Scheduling one of these break periods over Town Meeting week will seriously affect participation in town meeting by families with children. Their absence could skew local decisions (including budget votes) on issues affecting families.

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    1. Superintendents are currently working with their individual property service departments to evaluate a variety of potential building needs (cleaning schedules, air conditioning, etc.). Should any concerns be raised, these will be considered regardless of the currently proposed Calendar 2.0 (as it is in the best interest of all to swiftly address maintenance issues). In addition, superintendents will soon be meeting with representatives from out-of-school organizations (including libraries, YMCA, Flynn, recreation departments, and more) to discuss opportunities for increased and/or new programming for students and families. We hope to have more details soon. Details around intersessions are still in progress - but student participation will not be mandatory. However, student attendance is required on non-intersession days (per local school calendars that will be developed once the 2014-2015 calendar is finalized). Currently, many school districts already have spring vacation occur during Town Meeting. It is possible that not having school may increase families' flexibility to be able to participate in Town Meeting Day.

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  15. The answer to question #7 in the FAQ section states that this new calendar is cost neutral because it is the same number of student and teacher days. I have a few questions about that.

    1. Who is going to be working with students during the intercessions? I assume these individuals will be paid for their time so it seems that would be an additional cost.

    2. Will cafeteria and bus services be offered during the intercessions? If so, won't that come at a cost?

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    1. This is similar to a question asked earlier. It may be possible for school districts to implement the proposed calendar without increasing school budgets. From recapturing money saved from needing less substitutes (if teachers utilize intersessions for professional development, than those teachers would not have to call on substitutes during the school year), to exploring grant opportunities, to exploring how resources regionally could better be utilized - the regional superintendents are exploring a variety of options. More details and ideas will be presented during the upcoming public forums in the fall related to costs. The goal is for this proposed calendar to be cost-neutral to tax-payers.

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  16. On the Research page, one bullet states "Job-embedded rather than separate from the work and external to the school ". How is the current training and development not job-embedded? The current schedule has training and development days on the calendar. The teachers are all supposed to be attending and furthering their training at the school on those days. How does moving further weeks into the school year change the nature of that? Will the teachers be contractually required to attend more training and development under the new calendar?

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    1. While teachers currently take advantage of many PD opportunities during the school day - these opportunities often take them away from their students. Studies have shown that student results are better when teachers are consistently in their classrooms. In the current calendar configuration, we either take teachers out of the classroom (and in some cases have created early release days to do so) to provide job-embedded professional development, or we provide the professional development in the summer (not job embedded - which is also shown to have positive impact on student learning). The proposed calendar provides us the opportunity to do both -- provide job-embedded professional development at regular intervals during the school year and keep the teachers in the classroom where they can have the most impact on student learning. It is important to note the proposed Calendar 2.0 only reflects common 175 student days - local (and additional) teacher (and student) days will need to be built in. As a result, school systems throughout the region are exploring the notion of creating common professional development to occur during parts of the intersessions. Teachers will be required to fulfill the days of work within their individual Master Agreements.

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    2. This reply does not appear to answer the question. What are in-service days for?

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    3. In-service days are for a variety of purposes including, but not limited to: reviewing student data, creating individualized student learning time, taking professional courses, collaborate with other teachers (locally and regionally), and working on large-scale initiatives (such as the Common Core, the Next Generation Science Standards, etc.).

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  17. Please provide more details on the Research page. I agree many of the statements about the current state of things, but the second portion which makes statements regarding the calendar system is very weak. The first 4 bullets are simply opinions without research sources quoted. Also, what other options have been considered to address the current state of things? This site seems to be more of a marketing platform to sell the community on an idea rather than educating the public on solid research, analysis, and business case on why this solution is the right choice for our children.

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    1. The regional superintendents have been reviewing the research around best practices related to scheduling time, learning and teaching. At this time, they are in the process of putting this research in a more web-friendly format. Please check back soon - as additional research will be posted.

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    2. I am looking for research that shows results of adopting a schedule like this. Please tell me we are not the first ones to try this type of calendar. My biggest concern is that 2 week breaks would cause mini "summer regression" for most students, rather than enhance learning. I researched opportunities for summer/vacation camps, after-school, etc. and there are parts of the district that already have much more opportunities for enrichment than others. I seriously question the premise that it's lack of time that keeps these opportunties from being balanced across the county. I fear this schedule would accentuate the gaps that already exist with larger more affluent schools. Before the superintendents approve this schedule, there better be concrete plans in place on how the extra weeks will be structured to enhance the childrens education, including how it will be supported. Otherwise this will just enhance what I see happening currently. Kids at the top generally do fine no matter what, (most commonly because of involved parents) kids at the bottom will have access to additional help, and the kids in the middle will get another week to play video games. I don't see how this is going to make education better without adding cost.

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  18. In a hot place like San Diego, I could see this being a nice thing, with more weeks off during the school year to relax. HOWEVER, THIS IS VERMONT. We have Seasonal Affective Disorder here. Our kids need fresh air and sunlight and exercise in the summertime, not to be stuck in some classroom!!!!! I can't agree with sending my son to school for the last half of August. Also, as a single mother who already has scheduling and economic challenges as it is, logistically this would be a nightmare for me in terms of coordinating childcare, etc. when I am at work. I can think of many other mothers who will be negatively affected by this calendar if it is instated. Please don't do this!!!!!

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  19. What would this mean for a child who is part of a Triple E program that currently follows the school calendar year? Would s/he continue to receive services during these intersessions or would this mean more start/stops? If they are eligible for services during intercessions would they receive them with the same provider or with another contracted provider?

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    1. The proposed calendar was created through the lens of all children. As such, those in Triple E programs would continue to receive necessary services. Any student eligible for services will still receive those services. The nuances of all out-of-school programming is still in development, but please know that schools have started the conversation with these providers and programs to identify need.

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  20. What about the school employees who are paid hourly? These intersessions will be a real burden for them as they are not long enough to work somewhere else but they will still need to pay their rent and other bills. Hourly employees may not be able to find work in the summers when the time is reduced as well, adding more financial burden to the lowest paid school employees.

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    1. School systems have many hourly employees, and employee well-being is just as important as student well-being. Employee hours will not be cut, however they may be shifted to different parts of the year. Regardless, per the new Equal Pay Law, employers must have flexible payment options for their employees. Essentially, this means employees can have their salary distributed equally throughout the year, instead of only during the months/days when that employee works.

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    2. Hourly employees can find additional employment for the summer (since it is a fairly long period of time). They will have difficulty finding employment for the intersessions. Their total annual income (from working at the school plus summer employment) will go down. The proposed shifting of hours will hurt these employees and their families.

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    3. The Equal Pay Law only applies to non-union positions in schools. In order to get the salary distribution for union employees it must be negotiated.My school tried to get this in the contract and it was refused by the board as being to expensive. I think this fact should be addressed and acknowledged. The superintendents need to know the law.

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    4. 16 V.S.A. chapter 57, the school district shall implement this
      election in a manner consistent with the provisions of this subdivision and as
      determined through negotiations under those chapters. For employees not
      within a bargaining unit, the school district shall, in a manner consistent with
      this subdivision, determine the manner in which to implement this subdivision.

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    5. (To allow wages to be paid over the course of a year in accordance with Section 3 of VT Act 154 of 2012)
      In accordance with Section 3 of VT Act 154 of 2012, non-union school year support staff may elect to have the school
      district hold a set amount or set percentage of after-tax wages in a district held bank account. These holdings can then be
      reclaimed by the employee and disbursed by the school district at the end of the school year.

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  21. I wonder how fantastic organizations like the Community Sailing Center and YMCA Camp Abnaki will survive. The lost income will probably shut them down. How will they find staff (typically college students on summer break) when they will only offer 8 weeks of employment? Their programs can only operate in the summer.

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    1. Further to my comments above... we have found the Y's summer programs (Greylock and Abnaki) to be superb. Programs offered during school breaks have been less than satisfactory. Often the kids do not get to go outside for days at a time due to lack of staff. These programs seem more like warehousing kids than enrichment opportunities. We need college students on break available to staff quality programs.

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  22. I am curious about the purpose of this Calendar 2.0 site. I assumed it was designed, at least in part, to gather input from the public about this calendar. However, after reading the Essex Reporter today I am now skeptical that the CVSA actually wants feedback. A superintendent of the group stated that they are committed to moving forward with partial implementation of the calendar in the fall of 2014 with full implementation after that. With that said, what is the purpose of this site or the informational meetings in the fall? It certainly sounds like a decision has already been made.

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    1. Superintendents will always be committed to what's right for students - and it is their strong belief that a new type of school calendar is what's right. In addition, they also believe that having conversations with their communities (including partner organizations, families, businesses, etc.) is beneficial for students. The purpose of this site is for all these groups to have a place to be informed about the proposed calendar and to have conversations about schools and community. No final decision has been made regarding the proposed calendar. However, there will be a school calendar for the 2014-2015 school year - what this looks like is yet to be determined (it could be Calendar 2.0, a variation of it, or something else completely). Calendar 2.0 is a proposal so conversations about school, community, and our most valuable assets - students - can occur.

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    2. Your response makes it look even more that the decision is made and this web site is designed to "convince" us that you're right. I fail to see how this arbitrary decision is right and this schedule is not supported by research. Even year round school has been debunked as being better than the traditional schedule. I also bristle at the assumption in this response that you know what's best for MY child. Kids need their summer. Parents need the stability of a school year. With only two weeks of vacation typical to parents who is going to watch kids during these additional breaks? Kids need the stability of the school year. School breaks create starts and stops in the school year. Starts and stops in the lessons that they are being taught and your solution is to add more? How about focusing on providing additional voluntary summer education programs or providing work books etc for parents to use with their kids over the summer? Making an arbitrary decision without input from parents is ridiculous and a good way to face backlash during school budget votes.

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  23. I understand the tremendous pressure that schools are under to provide excellent education to students, and I appreciate all of the efforts that are being undertaken to try to improve the current system, including Calendar 2.0. However, I feel that if this Web-site was submitted as a college assignment it would receive a failing grade. There is virtually no research posted on this site to support this change. I have completed a fair amount of research myself on this issue, and from what I have found, the results are mixed, there are schools that tried similar calendars and then reverted back to the traditional calendar and there are schools that have had minimal success. It would be really helpful if more meaningful, and completely objective research was posted on this site. Currently the superintendents have "a strong belief that a new type of school calendar is what's right"; what is this strong belief based on? Right now it appears as if it is just a hunch and is not supported by research. And finally, I believe the issue of properly cooling the schools during the extra summer weeks without adding any costs is a HUGE unanswered question.

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    1. Please watch for a list of several resources members of CVSA referred to when putting together the proposed Calendar 2.0. You’ll see that some research pertains to learning styles, how the brain works, and best ways to use blocks of time, while others point to best practices for teaching and learning. We are in the process of crafting more in-depth research posts to clearly connect the resources to various elements of the proposed calendar.

      The topic of air conditioning in schools is certainly one of many considerations for school districts to review. It is important to keep in mind that, with Calendar 2.0, there may be opportunities to reallocate funds (as one example: hiring less substitutes may save hundreds of thousands of dollars in a single school district), which could be used to improve buildings. Building maintenance is one of many priorities regardless of the proposed Calendar 2.0 (for instance, Superintendents must consider the well-being of students/staff who use schools for summer programming, including recreation & parks programming).

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  24. I was vastly disappointed by the lack of research presented on this subject. The "snippets" shown seemed to represent overall trends on what is demanded of the educators. While educators are the primary key in student learning, I did not see the students discussed. What are the measurable benefits to the students? If they are not mentioned, is that the focus?

    Here are the other areas that I would like to hear more about.
    1. Summer regression - It looks like the summer break is 2 weeks shorter. Are the superintendents suggesting that there is a substantial difference in being off for 8 weeks versus 10 weeks? On week 8, has my child retained the learning and on week 9, the learning is gone? Where is the research to support this?

    2. Are we not losing the week before and after all these breaks to the children "checking out" before vacation and transitioning back to school.

    3. Reducing summer boredom - Where is the research that shows kids are bored during the summer? Don't we keep hearing that we are an overscheduled society; could summer boredom be OK? My kids are not bored during the summer. They can't get enough of enjoying Vermont. My children will have more boredom with three 2 week breaks than 2 extra weeks in the summer.

    4. How are working parents possibly going to support their children over their children over these two week breaks? I don't have high school students yet, but two breaks for teen agers while parents work sounds like opportunity for "exploration".

    5. Are these breaks going to be real breaks for the students, or time for projects, etc?

    6. For the intersessions, who will pay for the opportunities? Will there be opportunities for all or only those that need "re learning."

    7. Is this a done deal? From what I read, it sounds like the majority of superintendents are on board on this. Do parents have the opportunity to vote.

    8. I suggest that the superintendents send out a survey to the parents and have them vote, and consider that when they submit their vote.


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    1. Please watch for a list of several resources (to be listed in the "Resources section of this site) that members of CVSA referred to when putting together the proposed Calendar 2.0. You’ll see that some research pertains to learning styles, how the brain works, and best ways to use blocks of time, while others point to best practices for teaching and learning.

      The intersession periods may provide students with opportunities to apply and extend their learning, or enable them to have additional time with teachers, or participate in other activities. In addition, Superintendents are working with "partner" organizations (e.g. the YMCA, regional libraries, recreation programs, VT Afterschool, etc.) to discuss new times/venues for offering programming and opportunities for students and families. At their July 23 meeting, representatives from schools and partner organizations came up with nine themes that needed further exploration: Equity, Intersessions, Funding, Logistics, Communication, Childcare, Transportation, Teacher Contracts, and Learning. These themes continue to be discussed between local/regional school systems and partner organizations (refer to the recent post on the Calendar 2.0 site for details about this meeting).


      The notion of "funding" for intersessions is currently being discussed at the superintendent and partner organization levels. There are a variety of funding options being explored, including: how to recapture money saved from needing less substitutes (if teachers utilize intersessions for professional development, than those teachers would not have to call on substitutes during the school year), the possibility of grant opportunities, the potential of using shared resources throughout the region, and more.

      The proposed calendar is not a "done deal." Rather, Calendar 2.0 is a proposal, enabling conversations about school, community, and our most valuable assets - students - to occur. Superintendents hope to further these conversations during the October forums (Oct. 2, 3, 9, and 10 - locations to be announced soon).

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  25. It seems to me that the powers that be are not really listening to the community.. you say that they are committed to doing what is best for the children, and that is the new calendar. Yet, on this page, I see almost no parents saying "Yes, that is *exactly* what my kid needs!" As our current summer break is drawing to a close, and it still seems so short, I dread the idea of an even shorter break.. the whole thing just seems like change for change's sake, and a complete nightmare all around.. I will be going to the community sessions in the fall, and I hope that the public is listened to, instead of just told this is for the best..

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    1. We look forward to engaging with you at the October forums as we continue to take in feedback and have conversations about improving learning time.

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  26. When is the 2014-2015 calendar going to be decided and finalized? The school calendar and breaks impacts everything from family vacations to camps and childcare. I am worried this decision will be made too late to properly plan for these needs. I know some of my husband's co-workers have already submitted for next summers vacation time. With school age children we cannot commit now and may lose the opportunity to take a vacation.

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  27. I would like a response on how summer regression will be impacted by shortening the summer break by two weeks.

    Have the Superintendents engaged local businesses in this discussion. The impact on students to run business and on business that depend on VT tourism will be affected. Studies in Texas and North Carolina have found early school start dates cost their economies hundreds of millions of dollars each year. Tourism and Travel is an industry that can never be outsourced. It must be supported if it is to be expected to help support the state’s economy. Lost revenues for Tourism and Travel mean lost income and jobs for Vermont families and lost tax revenue for state and local government and Vermont schools.

    At least 10 other states have laws dictating the earliest start dates for schools. I will support VT in doing the same.

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  28. As a teacher, I have two major reservations about the proposal, to which I have only seen glib responses. The first is regarding ventilation and non-air-conditioned classrooms. You are gaining nothing by extending the dates of start/end if the classrooms are not air conditioned. Period.

    Second is the matter of AP testing. Many seniors who have already been accepted to college would leap at the chance to take a trip in April during the 'intersession' to celebrate. Please do not have the false illusion that they will voluntarily stay and study and take their tests. These are very real students and yours is a very hypothetical idea.

    Other than to please the theorists who propose this calendar, is there a real reason to make this dramatic change that has a tremendous ripple effect? This truly feels like change for the sake of change to make the public think that by doing so, we are improving the schools. Where is the data that says it is so?

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    1. I absolutely agree with you!

      To say "We are going to do this change and it will make the schools better because it is change," is nonsensical. While I agree that something should be changed to improve our school system, I have very serious doubts that this is the change that is needed..

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    2. We are so glad to hear you agree something should be changed in our school systems, and we look forward to your attendance at one (or more) of the October forums to hear your suggestions.

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  29. SUMMER SCHOOL FOR EVERYONE!?
    The children would be attending school during Vermont's warm summer days (and without air conditioning). I doubt any learning will take place in June or August months because it already does not take place now during the days at the end of the school year. Calendar 2.0 is a waste of summer for everyone.

    INTERSESSIONS
    I have seen the intersession idea misapplied by trying to cram too much information into a short time when a proper journey to mastery is required. In an extra week of school for those who are lagging behind in January, "catchup" instruction does not solve the contextual problems of the student, such as family problems or behavioral problems or problems that stem from poor diet or lack of exercise or institutional problems (on the part of a rigid school system that is inflexible to student needs). "Intersession" instruction does not solve these sorts of problems. And, the public school system does run summer school sessions during the summer months that have been shown to be effective, partly because they give children much-deserved individual attention right before the start of the school year.

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  30. I have read with great interest the materials on this site regarding this new calendar idea. With all due respect to the members of this committee and important process, my comments are as follows:
    1. What is the available empirical, large dataset, high impact factor journal research showing that this results in better outcomes?
    2. What is the empirical data that shows a causal relationship between this calendar and a "better school climate"?
    3. This will greatly impact families, both financially and logistically. What about working families where both parents work? Single parents? The additional time off for which we have to find care or options for our children will be a massive inconvenience, if not make it impossible for us to make it work.
    5. What is the make up of this committee? Are there equitable voices? In particular, are there TEACHER voices in this process that are being heard? And why not consider bringing in leaders among the student population (older grades) for their input?
    6. I will close by saying that I am also an educator. I sincerely hope that whoever is making this decision will take into consideration the many many compelling points on this site from many people who care.

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    1. There is evidence pointing to improved student behavior resulting from routine schedules, breaks from traditional schooling, and having a variety of opportunities to learn. We have not found empirical data explicitly demonstrating that moving days increases achievement, rather there is research that supports extending learning time for at-risk students and multiple pathways to proficiency. Additional relevant information will continue to be posted on the site.

      We appreciate the concern families may feel regarding intersessions, and this topic is one that is being diligently discussed between superintendents and regional/local community partner organizations (refer to an earlier post on this subject). They are discussing a range of topics, including: cost, potential transportation needs, programming opportunities, staffing, etc. These conversations are happening now, with the goal of having concrete examples and logistics for the upcoming October forums.

      The regional calendar, by law, is set by the regional superintendents (CVSA). This is the group who created the proposed Calendar 2.0. However, this is the first time CVSA has opened up discussion related to calendar planning. As a result, superintendents are connecting with their own staffs for input and to begin creating various models of the proposed calendar for further consideration. The regional student council has also voiced their support for this proposal and are planning to attend at least one of the October forums to present their student perspective.

      It is important to remember that this is a proposal, meant to intentionally engage educators, students and families around how to further the quality of education in our region.

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  31. I don't want my kids in school in the summer months. Summer is so short in Vermont. I want them to enjoy it to the fullest. There is more to life than book learning. There is family time that produces healthy adults and inspire them to grow up to be good parents themselves. I also want to have the choice to send my teen to another country to spend the summer learning a new culture. I also can't afford higher taxes for providing air-conditioned classrooms. I am also wondering if all the schools pre-k thru 12 will be on the same schedule? As a mother of a teen who babysits his siblings, this is very important to me. I think we as a community could find ways to improve education without taking away from our already short summer.

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    1. The proposed calendar includes eight weeks of summer vacation. In addition, as it's a regional calendar, all schools (preK-12/tech.) have the possibility of being on similar calendars.

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  32. Before the school systems throw out the existing calendar and implement something completely new, I would suggest that they address the multiple days per year when there is little to no learning taking place. Our school has too many celebrations, parties, movie days, non-academic field trips, etc. I stopped counting when my daughters' wasted middle school days reached double digits this past year. Perhaps give some accountability to the teachers in how they are using the days they have with the children.

    I also think that this calendar will adversely affect boys. Boys have been steadily falling behind as there are fewer opportunities for physical outlets and resources and efforts and school climate/culture have been heavily favoring girls - well documented in Christina Hoff Sommers' book 'The War Against Boys'. Keeping boys cooped up through the end of June and most of August is not going to enhance their learning and will probably lead to increased disciplinary actions and/or additional diagnoses of ADHD.

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  33. The most irksome thing about this whole process is your total lack of practical and meaningful communication to school families regarding this potential change. Why hasn't a notice been sent home alerting parents to this "debate" since April? Why did I have to stumble across this info? Why is it that 3 of every 4 parents I encounter has no idea this is even in the works? Is it fear of backlash? Fear of debate? What????

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    1. To date, the Superintendents have been doing research and connecting with partner organizations and educators to create and streamline details around how intersessions would work. It's premature to have conversations until some preliminary details are created - this enables everyone to have a proposal to react to. It is now time to engage families and the community with the current proposal before any decisions are made. Superintendents are ready and excited to engage families around quality education.

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    2. OK, so just how do the superintendents plan to get the word out to parents and when? There were homework policy forums last school year and the notice for these was poor at best and not given with any time for parents to plan childcare so they could attend. This information needs to go home with every child in written format, or via email IF that is how the parents have requested communication. And it needs to go home soon to allow parents time to plan. Just posting it on the district or individual school web sites is in no way sufficient communication. I have not spoken to one parent that visits their school's or district web site. I'm echoing Noel's frustration - I stumbled upon the 2.0 info when I was looking up the proper spelling of a teachers last name!

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    3. Superintendents are meeting on Tuesday to further discuss the proposed Calendar 2.0 and how to spread the word about this proposal and the October forums. Some ideas include sending home flyers within "Friday Folders," posting to multiple Front Porch Forum neighborhoods, and social media.

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    4. Here it is, Sept. 20. Have those notices gone home DIRECTLY to parents yet via printed newsletter or email? (They are going home at my school because I personally requested it!) Forums start in less than 2 weeks. Why is it that many people still don't know about this? Why is one superintendent quoted as saying we are going forward with this? Why did I hear from a teacher in the Burlington School District that they were told it is already a done deal for next year?

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    5. Thank you for identifying a communication need. We are doing our best to give accurate and up-to-date information. However, we cannot comment on what individual school systems post or make available - as the process for communication is different at each location. We will do our best to encourage member school systems to continue (or begin) publicizing information about the proposed Calendar 2.0 and the upcoming forums.

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    6. In a previous reply from Calendar 2.0, it stated that superintendents have until April 1, 2014 to make their decisions. This date should be earlier - perhaps January 1, 2014, so that parents have time to plan. For many families, April will be too late to reorganize their Sept-Dec schedules to accomodate the school calendar. Or at least, make the decision for the 2015-2016 year. This gives families a one year notice to make adjustments instead of just a few months. Also most summer programs are organized before April. This seems like date that is convenient to the deciders, not the rest of the population effected by it.

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    7. Per state statute, regional superintendents must set the school calendar for the following year no later than April 1. However, the regional superintendents typically do try to make this decision earlier (usually January) so individual school boards can add school district-specific information during February/March.

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  34. I have read you research page, and while I do not disagree with the issues outlined in Research post #1, I fail to see how this new "flexible" calendar is going to solve the outlined issues. In fact, I see that your research page is contains mostly position papers filled with theory. Where is the data? Where has this calendar been successful?
    The FDA would never approve a new medication based on the position that what we have isn't good enough, and this new untested drug may, in theory, be better. And oh, yeah, the new 'drug' has more side effects...less time outdoors, more time cooped up in a hot classroom, more adjustment time for younger kids who are constantly in and out of school, more stress on the working family. You need to show the families in Chittenden County how this is going to achieve you goals. What are your goals anyway?
    If you do not have this data, please do not use my children as your lab rats.

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    1. This calendar is based on research and concepts around best practices for teaching and learning. Rather than being an "experiment," this proposal is a shift from a 150-year-old model to a more contemporary format to better suit the needs of our students and educators in our ever-changing world. Similar formats are in existence in districts across the country. It's important to remember that this is simply a proposal that shifts the current calendar by 10 days and maintains the required 175 student days. We look forward to seeing you at one (or more) of the October forums!

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  35. Like most parents whose comments I have read, I am wholly opposed to the new calendar system. While I appreciate the concept of giving every child a chance to receive and benefit from a solid education, I don't think restructuring the school year is the right next step. I agree with other parents that there are already too many days being wasted -- for celebrations, teacher professional education, parent-teacher conferences (which parents MUST take time from work to attend), teacher absences and the like. Every one of these days is a wasted opportunity when children and teens spend too much time just punching the clock and not enough time being challenged and taught by their assigned full-time teachers. Adding these intercessions makes no sense as it just furthers segments the learning periods and year. Nevermind the havoc it wreaks on working parents' -- i.e., taxpayers' -- schedules as well.

    Add to that the implications for summer break and the added cost of adding AC to schools for a few weeks, and there is really no benefit to this approach. Vermont is a summer vacation destination...why would we want our children in overheated classrooms during those weeks? The benefits to being outside far outweigh whatever small amount of teaching they will receive (but will likely not absorb).

    Last, I would rather see the state and districts spend more funds to challenge the best and brightest than invest in approaches that focus on bringing everyone to the average. There are bright children in these schools whose formative years are being wasted because we refuse to implement and hold them accountable to a curriculum that is sufficiently challenging and engaging. That is where resources need to be spent.

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    1. With regard to our last point, I agree with your fund distribution. Every student, regardless of ability, should be afforded the best educational opportunities. Unfortunately, it's not likely to happen across the board unless the law mandates it. We are a school system managed by federal laws. And those laws do not support a strategy that represents the best interests for all students.

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  36. Thank you for providing a forum for discussion and feedback.
    I have significant concerns about this calendar proposal.
    1) as a Taxpayer; The research you cite is not particularly compelling for either the benefits or potential financial cost. You repeatedly state "may not cost more" and "may be budget neutral." You do not have data to support these claims; IF local communities can create programs for the students to participate it during the longer breaks throughout the school year; it WILL cost money; for the parents and the communities.
    Many teachers currently supplement their income with summer jobs; Often they are the ones who help run recreational program opportunities; work a summer camps or other seasonal jobs which help the entire Vermont tourism economy.
    They will have more challenges getting these jobs for a shorter season and will then likely demand more salary for teaching; also if you will have "intersessions and enrichment" opportunities; this will require staffing and Money. Current "enrichment programs" have all but disappeared in most communities due to budget cuts. As a taxpayer, i can not afford to pay more; we are already ranked as one of the highest taxed states in this nation.
    2) as a parent
    Juggling childcare for school breaks when my 3 children were younger and my husband and I work full time was a significant challenge. While my one child still at home is old enough to be home alone; having her have more time through the school year to fill while we are both working will be quite a challenge. We can not afford other "supplemental" activities. I will not be able to get more time off at work for any family vacations; the competition for the current school breaks is intense as only 2 can be off at a time; so yay....I get to struggle with that for an additional 4 weeks a year. My child will be home alone for 2 weeks at a time instead of 1 for these breaks; I will need to figure out transportation all over the place if she can manage to find friends who have someone at home for her to hang out with.
    As many have stated; Vermont has few nice weather months that exist; Summer is a time to experience a prolonged opportunity for rest, recreation, camping, learning, reading...Students can have summer homework with expectations for work to be handed in at the start of school; this will "remediate" the lost momentum;
    The routine of more frequent school days "condensed" as they currently exist provide my student and my family consistent structure and momentum for learning and development. Having long breaks every few weeks will be very disruptive.
    I share the concerns about learning required for Advanced Placement and the timing for the exams.
    Summer is a time for visiting colleges for a block of time.I can not get adequate time off during the year to visit many colleges at once; I can not afford multiple trips to spread this out.
    3) Impact on the workforce; as stated above it is currently very difficult to support staff to be scheduled off work for the current school breaks. With the longer summer break, I can spread staff summer vacations over 10-12 weeks. Some staff STILL do not get more than a few days; If that is compressed to 8 weeks, many staff will NOT get a summer vacation with their children as I will not be able to keep the "office" open. I have no doubt I will lose staff as they will need to quit work to stay home. (Less tax dollars...)
    Vermont relies on tourism for our economy. It is just about all that is left. Teachers, college students and high school students make up a large part of the summer late May to end of August work force to support our tourism. Taking teachers and high school students out of this for up to 4 weeks will have a negative economic impact. and I suspect if the jobs are able to be filled, employers will choose to not hire teachers and students as they need people from Memorial to Labor day.

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    1. Your concerns regarding the ability for families to ensure quality care and opportunities for their children is one that is shared by Superintendents. As such, they've connected with several partners throughout the region to discuss how their programming could be impacted by this proposal. Many partner organizations are willing and excited to offer expanded and even new opportunities for children. Essentially, the regional Superintendents are excited to have conversations with you, and many others in our region, about how education could look different to better suit the needs of students, families and teachers. We hope you can join us at one of the October forums!

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    2. With regard to the superintendents connecting “with several partners throughout the region…” to provide care for our kids during the extra four weeks of breaks, I have several questions.

      First, who will pay for these programs? A lot of partners and programs will be required to cover all schools in the Champlain Valley region, I think. If parents are asked to pay – even part of the fee – for this childcare, CVSA will have put an unnecessary and unsustainable burden on us.

      If these programs are to be funded, as Ms. Pinckney suggests, by having districts “…shifting costs within their current budgets for intervention,” I’d like to know what the available intervention budget for 2014 is.

      After all, we’re talking about a lot of money. If we’re also hiring tutors to provide ‘remediation’ during the breaks, funding building maintenance and utilities for the added weeks schools will be open, (possibly) retrofitting old buildings with air conditioning, extending bus service contracts and so on, our ‘intervention’ budget must be pretty big.

      And, what programs would you contract to engage kids ranging from kindergarten through 12th grade? The YMCA’s Live Y’ers program is a wonderful resource for parents needing coverage from 3-5pm, but isn’t suitable for a two-week break. Having students spend 10, eight-hour days playing board games in the cafeteria isn’t a sensible or practical alternative to classroom learning.

      Finally, I know parents don’t want to leave their children with childcare providers they don’t know - and don’t know the credentials of. Will parents have a hand in the selection of these providers? Who will review the programs and services these contractors provide our kids (for 80 hours each break)?

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    3. You keep saying that there will be more organizations willing to offer expanded and new opportunities for children. Are they planning on offering this for free? Because if not, that's still an extra cost that will come directly from the parents' wallets. Also, will these opportunities coming with free transportation and if not, will all students in the region be able to take part? Not all students live in areas that will be easy to access many of these "opportunities".

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    4. Summer services are currently provided in most school districts already. It is anticipated some of these funds would be diverted to intersessions.

      Out-of-school providers have indicated they wish to provide child care and other programming opportunities when school is not in session. Costs would be the same as they are in the summer which, in this calendar would be be an eight-week summer vacation instead of the current 10 weeks. The total number of school days remains at the current 175.

      With regard to school budgets, these are typically available on each school system's web-site, or by contacting the Central Office. It is important to note that budgetary conversations regarding the proposed calendar are meant to spur ideas of ways to fund intersessions with minimal impacts to current budgets and taxpayers.

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    5. Thank you for your quick response.

      I appreciate your point that budgetary conversations have only just begun, and concrete financial arrangements aren’t possible until the 2014 calendar is decided upon. I would, however, like your clarification on other statements made.

      You say the total number of school days remains at 175. This will be true for the majority of students – those not receiving tutoring at school during breaks. But for the students who are the focus of this proposed calendar – those receiving tutoring – there’ll be an additional two to four weeks of classroom instruction during the intersessions.

      If this is the case, will we not be providing bussing, cafeteria services, etc. to cover this added operational time? When you say costs will remain the same because “summer services are currently provided,” I’m curious as to what you mean.

      Also, you say “Out-of-school providers have indicated they wish to provide child care and other programming opportunities when school is not in session. Costs would be the same as they are in the summer…” I’m not aware of any out-of-school providers here in Charlotte offering childcare or other programming opportunities during the summer months, aside from sports programs. Are other schools contracted with the YMCA or others for these services?

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    6. The total number of traditional school days would remain at the current 175. Programming during the intersessions has yet to be developed - in fact, Superintendents are very interested in having conversations with families about what these voluntary intersessions could look like.

      With regards to busing and meals - these are very legitimate issues - and ones the Superintendents are absolutely discussing. Hunger Free VT has expressed interest in expanding their offerings to include intersessions to ensure all participating students have access to meals. Also, keep in mind that schools already feed students during the summer months, and schools may provide similar services during intersessions. Transportation could be done at a more regional level, instead of via local school districts.

      Now is the time to have creative and in-depth conversations about opportunities - how can we continue to build quality education in Vermont?

      There are schools throughout the region who do work with such programs as the YMCA. It appears that some out-of-school providers may be interested in expanding their offerings - so new opportunities could stem from a shift in the traditional school calendar.

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  37. As the parent of a child who receives special education services (he has an IEP and is included in a regular classroom), I'm concerned about how these proposed changes would affect his education. Will the ESY (Extended School Year) be affected at all by these plans? What options will there be during intersessions for children with special needs who cannot attend traditional childcare activities or enrichment programming? Many special needs children thrive on routines, and it seems that this proposed schedule will break up those routines and throw more chaotic transitions into their school year. It will also give them less time to enjoy summer outside of their ESY programs.

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    1. The education and success of all children is important to educators. Extended School Year plans are part of the special education process and, as such, are individual in nature and dependent on the individual student needs. While intersessions are being developed, Superintendents are working with special educators to determine how individual student needs could be met, similar to how this is done for summer school programs now. By more reasonable chunking of the school year, students will have less "partial" school weeks, which we we believe will be very beneficial to special education (and all) students. Please remember, this calendar is not yet finalized and we value your input and thoughts in improving educational opportunities for your children.

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  38. Calendar 2.0 is described as affecting the districts served by the Burlington and Essex Technical Centers. However, 8 of the 17 superintendents who will vote on this proposal are from districts that are served by other technical centers. Will those centers also follow the new schedule? Or are half of the people who are determining our schedule not even required to follow it?

    I look forward to speaking up at the public forums. Will the CVSA take community feedback into account when it makes a decision?

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    1. By VT Statute Title 16, §1071(e), the superintendents whose students attend regional technical centers are required to set a 175-student-day calendar. The vote is a majority vote, with the outcome applying to those schools within a technical center region. The purpose of the law is to create a common calendar within technical center regions, ensuring student attendance and participation between high schools and technical centers.

      The CVSA will absolutely take community feedback into consideration when it makes it's decision about calendar. This proposal is not a "done deal." There will be a calendar for the 2014-2015 school year - what this looks like is yet to be determined (it could range from the current calendar, to a variation, to Calendar 2.0, or beyond) - and it will be a result of consideration of all input from the forums and other venues of communication. We look forward to seeing you at the October forums!

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    2. Unfortunately you have not answered my question. Will this vote apply only to the Essex/Burlington technical center region? Or will it also apply to the Hannaford Technical Center region and the Franklin Technical Center region? Or will there be separate votes for each tech center region?

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    3. School districts and SUs that feed into separate technical centers approve regional calendars.

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    4. Why is it that we can't get a simply stated answer?
      "School districts and SUs that feed into separate technical centers approve regional calendars."
      Please be crystal clear. Are you saying they approve their OWN regional calendar and if Franklin Cty. SU's vote for calendar 2.0 but Chittenden & Grand Isle do not, we would be on separate calendars?

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    5. Essentially, SUs and school districts approve regional calendars based on the technical centers their students attend. So, yes, Chittenden County would vote on their "regional" calendar, Franklin county would likely vote on their "regional" calendar, and Grand Island is left to make some very important decisions around how to set their calendar as their students are so spread out. However, CVSA as a whole tries to make calendar decisions as a group every year in the best interest of all students, families, and employees (who may be spread out between counties).

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  39. As a parent of two, I am very much in support of this new schedule. The ONLY time I hear my kids say that they are bored is in the last few weeks of summer. Time off IS great, and it IS important for kids to be kids, but let's face it - Vermont has wonderful, fun things to do throughout the year, not just in summertime. A week off in October would be fabulous, in fact. Smaller breaks throughout the year would be a chance for kids to "catch their breath" and re-energize. It doesn't seem that the summer break is shortened enough to adversely impact family vacations, college visits, etc.

    The aspects I do wonder about are:
    1. how schools will manage the (possible) heat during these two weeks (which is definitely sometimes an issue even with the current schedule)
    2. the ability of working families to find quality care during the intercessions (which ideally would be met by those organizations/individuals who offer this during the summer, but let's face it - it could realistically be a few years until the kinks get worked out of the transition)
    3. the impact on both teachers and hourly workers in the school system.

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  40. As I understand it, a primary motivation for instituting Calendar 2.0 is to provide additional academic instruction (during the intersession breaks) to students unable to keep pace with classmates or who might be in danger of falling behind.

    If correct, how will decisions be made as to which students should/will participate in intersession tutoring? If this is to be a voluntary program, I have several questions:

    • Will teachers identify students in need of tutoring and make their recommendation to parents, or will parents make the determination on their own based on conversations with the child and report cards?
    • Do all parents have the option of either paying for childcare during breaks, or receiving two weeks of free tutoring at school? Or, if I prefer that my child not take a two-week vacation from learning, will the school provide tutoring appropriate to his study level?
    • How will the efficacy of intersession tutoring be judged?

    Thanks in advance for your response.

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    1. You are correct in that one motivator behind the proposed Calendar 2.0 is to provide students with support throughout the year instead of at the end of semesters or just through some sort of summer school program. The details around intersessions have not been completely worked out, but they will be voluntary. Just as families work with schools now to determine tutoring and summer school needs, these conversations will happen throughout the year with the proposed calendar.

      It is a misconception that the intersessions are merely "vacation" for all students, as the idea is to provide a wide-range of offerings (if possible) for all students during these time-periods. Some programming may be offered by the school, while others may be offered by out-of-school providers (such as the YMCA or your local libraries). Certainly, those intersessions could also be taken as vacation, similar to summer, should they choose not to be part of any offerings.

      Schools have district and standardizes assessments to determine if students are at grade level and meeting proficiency standards. These assessments, along with teacher and family input, would be used to identify students who need additional support. School systems would use these same assessments to determine the efficacy of the intersessions.

      Superintendents hope to build these intersessions in collaboration with families, educators and out-of-school providers. This is simply a proposal to start the conversations about quality education, and we hope you can be a part of the conversation during one of the October forums.

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  41. I am sure no one doubts the CVSA's good faith and good intentions in making this proposal. But it seems extremely clear to me from conversations with other parents and from reading the posts here that the CVSA does not have community support for this proposed change. Although I could of course be mistaken, I would predict that fairly strong opposition will be the dominant tone of the public meetings. And, I must say, there seem to be good reasons for the amount of opposition (or lack of support if you prefer). The rationale on the first page of this "blog" is unconvincing, and --without wishing to sound disrespectful-- so jargon-filled as to be close to meaningless. The "research" page is somewhere between partisan propaganda and the sort of research "lite" (as one might expect from a proposal put forth and debated on a "blog") that fails to convey the kind of data that might perhaps sway someone who has doubts. Nor do the responses on this page (thoughtful and sincere though they are) add a great deal. The proposed new calender would be highly disruptive to families in the short run, and as far as I can see no very compelling case has been made that it really and truly would benefit our kids in the longer run. The CVSA may wish to start pondering a graceful exist strategy from this controversial and unpopular proposal.

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    1. Please keep in mind that Calendar 2.0 is a proposal, not a done deal, and Superintendents hope to engage the community in how to maximize learning within the required 175 days.

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  42. This seems to be a change that is rushed. I believe the decision has already been made to change to this calendar.

    I am deeply concerned about my high school students' ability to secure a summer job in order to help pay for college. They both currently work throughout the summer, but would not be able to carry a full course load - with AP and honor classes and hold down a job. If I'm reading the schedule correctly, this would be two weeks where they would lose wages? Have employers voiced opinions about this new calendar?

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    1. It is a misconception that this is a "done deal." In fact, while the proposal may seem rushed, Superintendents have spent several years researching and creating various iterations of what a school calendar could look like before publicizing the current version. This version is merely a jumping-off point to have conversation about how to best utilize the 175 student days.

      While we appreciate your concern around summer employment, there are a few things to consider: summer is reduced only by two weeks and intersessions may provide unique opportunities for your student to participate in internship opportunities that were not previously offered, as well as opportunities to work during scheduled breaks during the school year.

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  43. Are local colleges and universities going to align their summer courses to calendar 2.0? Many teachers work on their degrees during the summer months so they can focus on teaching during the year and not have to juggle course work at the same time.

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    1. Currently, the proposal only affects public schools in the Champlain Valley region. Teachers would still have the opportunity to participate in courses during the eight-week summer vacation. In addition, professional development opportunities may be offered during intersessions (provided and/or coordinated through regional educator professional development organizations).

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    2. You dodged the question (again). Will summer courses at UVM, Champlain College, Middlebury College, etc. start before school is out for teachers, thus making it very difficult for them to further their education? Please answer this question.

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    3. Courses are offered at different times throughout the year. While it may be possible that some begin before teachers end the school year, there will likely be many offerings available during the summer. Keep in mind, last year, many schools ended school on the same date (due to weather-related school closings) as the proposed Calendar 2.0, and educators were still able to participate in summer professional development opportunities. In addition, professional development opportunities may be offered during intersessions (provided and/or coordinated through regional educator professional development organizations). Also, it is important to note that embedded weather days are part of the proposed calendar to ensure a fixed end-of-year date.

      Chittenden Co. has a large number of teachers. School districts and the ESA work with regional colleges and universities to offer courses and professional development during the school year and summer. School systems have been successful in offering professional development and courses when it is possible for teachers to participate. There is no indication this would change with calendar 2.0.

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  44. Who will teach children during intersessions? If the response is teachers, have enough teachers shown interest or will the teaching fall on the paras who need the money and can't afford so many intersessions?Wouldn't it make more sense to have the professionals teach the children by keeping the current calendar and therefore guaranteeing that students are getting the most face-time with a qualified teacher?

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    1. These voluntary intersessions provide unique opportunities for students: teachers may elect to provide courses (which could more in-depth, focused projects), there may be opportunities for students to participate in job-shadowing or internships, out-of-school providers may provide new/expanded camps, etc. Superintendents are excited to have the conversation about what possibilities exist for students and educators, and how to further the quality of education in our region during the required 175 student days. It is important to note that teachers will have at least as much face-time with students as they do in the current calendar.

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  45. The community input above has been used to draft “Why to consider Calendar 2.0” on this site’s home page. A lengthy list of imagined benefits is offered, yet I’m left with more questions as to the justification for embarking on this controversial project. In bullet form they are:

    • You say the Calendar “increases outcomes for personalized learning and individual growth based on multiple measures…” It’s unclear what this means, but “increases outcomes” suggests there’s evidence intersessions increase the quality of education offered/received. If so, is it available for parents to review? How have other schools fared using this calendar?
    • You state the Calendar “increases opportunities for learning beyond traditional schoolhouse walls…(i.e. virtual, internships, job shadowing, civic engagement, camps, etc.)” As summer will be shorter, the increased opportunities you mention must occur during the school year’s intersessions. If so, who will coordinate personalized activities for the large number of students who will be participating? How will students get to these camps and job shadowing? Are we asking parents to take more time from work to transport them?
    • I was upset to see you say the Calendar, “allows for professional learning to be scheduled during non-instructional time to ensure the most important factor of student success - classroom teachers - remains in the classroom.” If you feel teachers in the classroom is truly ‘the most important factor in student success,’ why didn’t we act to resolve this a decade ago? If you’re certain you can get the teacher’s union to accept change, why haven’t you, say, eliminated the teachers’ week of vacation during winter break to schedule in-service days, pro-dev days, NEA meetings and such then when education wouldn’t be interrupted? Why not work to hold parent/teacher meetings before and after school so as not to separate students from teachers on these days?
    • Likewise, “provides full weeks of instruction (proven to enhance student engagement, learning and attendance)” If full weeks of school has be ‘proven to enhance student engagement,’ why haven’t we worked with teachers to eliminate the dozen interrupted weeks we’ve faced for years?

    Thanks again for your consideration.

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    1. There is evidence that suggets the way time is "chunked" and paced correlate to enhanced learning. Superintendents are currently in the process of further creating posts for the "Research and Information" page with additional information. We also have information from teachers in other places that are using similar calendars and have had positive responses to this type of calendar.

      Summer is shortened by only two weeks, and intersessions are still in the process of being developed - and now is the time for everyone to collaborate and have conversations about how this time could be used. Some logistical details (such as transportation), have been raised - and Superintendents are currently exploring options (which may include pooling together regional resources or expanding offerings of out-of-school providers, to name a few). It is important to note that, even without the concept of intersessions, this proposed calendar is chunked in a way we believe may make more sense for student learning.

      In terms of the teacher component of the calendar, the current calendar model is very limiting in terms of how and when professional development opportunities can occur. Calendar 2.0 is one idea - a proposal - of how time could be used differently while remaining within the confines of the required 175 student days. This proposal is the opportunity to change the century-old calendar.

      The bottom line is that details of this calendar, including the voluntary intersessions are not fully developed - and this is where Superintendents are seeking to have input and collaborate to create new and exciting opportunities for today's learners. We hope you are able to attend one (or more) of the upcoming forums in October.

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  46. I would like to reiterate the obvious, and that is that creating these extra days off in the middle of the school year will pose a care issue with working parents. At approx $80 per day the extra care days needed for children of working parents will not be affordable. Furthermore, to say that you are striving for this to be cost-neutral is a farce, and I'm quite certain the proponents of this plan already know this and choose to omit any information doing so under the guise of "we don't know yet." My school taxes is Jericho just went up approx 10%, and I'm not that fond of another increase anytime soon. Add that to our "wonderful" new health care system, and quite frankly moving out of these state is becoming a very attractive option.

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    1. The proposed calendar strives to be cost-neutral to tax payers, as we appreciate the many stresses on all our communities. Instead, this calendar could be made possible by shifting costs around (similar to how the student days have been shifted). Superintendents cannot guarantee that all programs offered during intersessions will be provided for free. Yet, Superintendents are genuinely interested in hearing from all families around ideas to continue improving education and opportunities for all learners, given the required parameters of how to create a school calendar.

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  47. The children currently meeting or exceeding the standards don't need intersessions, they need more resources diverted to meet their academic needs in the current calendar so that they are not coasting and idle while all resources go to the children not meeting standards. Teachers do their very best to differentiate instruction, but there is so much demand for meeting AYP, etc, that the children who are doing well, but risk becoming bored and need more, aren't getting their needs met.

    Changing the calendar will affect all divorced parents whose current custody arrangements are based on the current calendar. Has the fact that hundreds of parents will have to go to court to make official changes to their custody agreements been considered? Are family courts prepared for the influx of traffic? There are also additional legal costs for those parents.

    The transitions and the disruption of the flow created by the proposed intersessions could be very difficult for many children. The emotional needs of those students are important.

    I have seen no formal input from teachers and school administrators. In fact, there is a suspicious silence. Are they in favor of this proposal?

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    1. Teachers and administrators understandably prefer to stay out of the fray. Administrative teams and faculties and staffs have had opportunity to give their input/ feedback about the proposed calendar. It is fair to say that some are enthusiastic supporters, while others hold a decidedly skeptical view. They are professionals - they are the closest to the action, and they will continue to do whatever it takes to provide the very best education for our students.

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  48. Are there plans to make the forums accessible via public access television?

    What will the mechanism be for community input at the forums?

    Will there be official note taking or minutes?

    Thanks for your time.

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    1. For the October forums, Superintendents are creating a format to ensure engagement by all participants around the topics of the proposed Calendar 2.0 and how to create a school calendar to ensure quality education. These forums will be facilitated. Notes will be taken and will be typed and posted to the Calendar 2.0 site as soon as possible following the forums. Superintendents are exploring the role of public access television.

      These forums are truly meant to be collaborative, engaged venues - and Superintendents are looking forward to hearing from everyone who attends.

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    2. From the response, I understand that the venue is to be more about engaging community around generating ideas and moving forward in a positive direction. I genuinely believe that Superintendents want to hear from community in this respect. Thank you for offering the opportunity.

      I am still a bit unclear of my role as a community member who does not agree. I do not believe that you want to hear from me if I don't support it. Convince me that you do.

      I thought, that if I go to a forum, I would have a chance to speak and explain why I do not agree with the proposal. Would you please clarify, are the community forums a place for me to share my opposing views?

      If not, how will Superintendents formally acknowledge community feedback that is not in line with the proposal?

      Stated another way: If I can’t speak out in opposition at the forums, where should I do it, and how will it be acknowledged?

      I’m really struggling with transparency and accountability here. Thanks again.

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    3. We appreciate that there are many views around the proposal - and both sides have equal merit. While you may be in opposition to the proposal, Superintendents are interested to hear why and even collaborate with you (and others) around how to create a system that works for everyone (students, educators and families).

      The format of these forums is created so that participants will have an opportunity to write down their thoughts (which will include both positive comments as well as specific concerns, and which will be displayed) and then work in small groups around creating calendars.

      Part of the reason for having things written down is for Superintendents to have documents to refer back to as they consider future school calendars. In addition, we will be able to post information and feedback online.

      So, you can attend a forum, or write to any/all of the Superintendents listed on the "About Us" section.

      Please remember - this is merely a proposal to use as a "jumping off point" to have conversations about quality education in our region.

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  49. I am a reading specialist and Title 1 literacy teachers grades K-2. Here is a letter I wrote for our superintendent and school board chair. I am adding it in 2 installments due to its length, even though I’ve pared it down considerably from its original form.
    There are many reasons why I object to this proposed calendar, but I’d like to share with you the top four.
    I had read in one newspaper article that someone mentioned funding as being a stumbling block, and the response to that (as I remember it,) was “…but we have to do something different given the unique needs of learners today, and starting with the calendar makes sense. We have to start somewhere…we can worry about logistics as they unfold.” My analogy to that is this: let’s start building a house we know is needed, then once it’s built, we can worry about finding perkable soil and puting in the foundation. You might be able to live in this house for a short while, but in the long run, you will have a house in ruins with no septic. This doesn’t make any sense. And so, lack of funding is the first reason I have concerns with the new calendar. Who is going to pay for these intervention times? You will have to have staffing. One rebuttal I have heard to that is “…well, teachers won’t work more days, but they might work different days. Specialists might work during these times, while classroom teachers will do more of the “regular” days.” One of the top four necessary pieces of an effective literacy program was consistency between the reading specialist and classroom teacher. This won’t happen if we are working on different days. It also does not allow us to “double dip” students during the school day when they are primed to learn. Funding continues to be a concern not just for the specialized teachers needed to make this time successful for students, but for the other pieces as well, including but not limited to transportation costs, support staff costs (many of these students have health issues…will we need a nurse there? Many of these students have emotional and behavioral challenges, will there be a behavior specialist and social worker there?) food costs, and the costs of keeping the school running more days during the year. These MUST be considered (as perk tests are,) BEFORE we build a calendar (or a house.)
    My second (and for me, even more important) reason I have concerns about this calendar is the nature of the students and their families this proposal might address. Quite frankly, these are students we have trouble getting to school even during the “regular” school year. These are the students with many tardies and absences. Do the proposers of this calendar really think families will jump at the chance to try and navigate school even more than they already have to? These are the students who already hate school. Now we are going to make them come to school during breaks? “These aren’t breaks…they are times for students to get caught up.” Really? Do we think parents will perceive this as such? What if there are 3 children in a family and only one has to come to this intervention time. Families WILL view this as vacation time, and we are foolish to think otherwise. (This, of course, brings up the issue of childcare.) And while this calendar is focused on providing extra learning time for struggling, (and hopefully enrichment for gifted) learners, what of the children who want to work during their summer? The high school student who NEEDS to work during summer?

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  50. This is the second part to my previous comment. My last and most important thought on this matter has to do with the way the struggling learner actually learns. The proposed calendar is a very choppy school year in the hopes of shortening up the time during the summer break when the “summer slide” happens. Educators can be clear about this-whether a break is 2 weeks long or 10 weeks long, learning is interrupted and regression follows. In other words, ANY and ALL breaks cause a “slide back” for struggling learners, and shortening summer will not prevent this. However, with having so much broken up learning time during the school year, more regression will occur than what currently happens now. After every break, I spend at least a week and a half reviewing material learned before the break. In this proposed calendar, I will spend more of my time reviewing than advancing student’s knowledge. “Oh no, students who struggle won’t miss that time…they’ll have educational opportunities.” I think I’ve addressed my concerns with that actually happening as it should. I have very real concerns that we will be harming struggling learners much more than we are helping them with this proposed calendar. The damage in the summer is done; lessening it by a few weeks will not lessen the damage. However, I fear increased breaks will increase the damage.
    No criticism of an idea should happen without a solution.
    The proposed regional calendar 2.0 will undoubtedly cost money. There is no question about that. What is up for debate is its effectiveness. So I propose we use that money to do what research and what educators in the field tell you is effective. 1.) Hire another social worker for each school. These people are the ones who help families navigate school and parenthood. They are the ones picking up students who miss the bus (again) because the parent was unable to get them on the bus (for myriad reasons.) They are overworked and understaffed, yet they accomplish what teachers cannot. They help provide structure and security for students and those families who need the most help. They advocate for these struggling learners. They help teach teachers what we need to know to help these students. Unfortunately, one per school is no longer enough. 2.) Hire teachers to do monthly parent workshops on working with their students at home. Provide free child care, transportation, and dinner for these families. Many families of struggling learners struggled themselves and have poor study skills. Hire professionals to teach them how to read with their kids, set up spaces for homework, and set limits. 3.) Hire guidance counselors to provide monthly evening parenting workshops, again providing child care, transportation, and dinner. Help them teach families how to set limits, provide structure, and organize their lives in the limited space and time they may have to deal with on a daily basis. Let us teach these families the importance of school, instead of disrupting their lives, and providing them with services which penalize children and have the potential to make struggling learners hate school even more than they already do. 4.) Add more days to the school year so we have LESS times of uninterrupted learning. Make Thanksgiving break not start until 11:00 am the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. Get rid of the February and April break and make one 2 week break in March. This would give us more teaching time, and require less review time.

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  51. My son will be starting Kindergarten next year with an IEP. Assuming he is eligible for tutoring during these breaks, would we then have to find childcare and transportation to and from tutoring? Or would those support programs be all day programs? This new calendar is a real concern for me. I have one son who is a traditional learner and he will adapt. The community will adapt. But tell me how this is going to work for my son who struggles with learning. Consistency in services and teachers is key.

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    1. Students on an IEP have individual teams that determine services and needs. At this time, details related to intersessions have not yet been fully developed as the calendar is still simply under consideration. Details would include how to manage transportation as necessary and the length of programming. Superintendents are collaborating with special educators to discuss how to meet individual student needs. Please remember, this calendar is not yet finalized and we hope you are able to join us at one (or more) of the upcoming forums to collaborate around how to create a calendar that better accommodates the needs of all students.

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  52. I appreciate the efforts to design ways to enhance education. However, the logistics in implementing this plan, as proposed are daunting. Quality childcare in Chittenden County is very competitive as it is. The fact is that many families don't have safe childcare options as it is. Some families like mine with two working parents can fortunately rely heavily on the college student population to help with child care during the long summer break. Those students financially rely on summer jobs and a three week loss of work to them is significant. These many hundreds/thousands of young people who help at camps or work as nannies are not available for a week in October, or for extra weeks in February/April to help with childcare or to staff programs, but they are here and eager to work in the summer. My husband and I are fortunate to each have four weeks of vacation. As it is, we take several separate vacations to cover the many school breaks, but we are able to have 1-2 family weeks together per year. The proposed schedule will absolutely end family vacation time for us. We will be forced to use all our time off to cover these three weeks when college students are gone. There are waiting lists now for most after school programs and many people cannot afford them as it is. It's not realistic to think there will be enough options to keep kids safe and occupied during these breaks. It's one thing to be idealistic about the educational side of this important issue, but it's also very important to be realistic about the adverse effects this will have on families as well as the local economy.

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    1. Your concerns about quality childcare are very real for Superintendents as well. In meeting with area partners organizations (those who offer programming during non-school hours), we've been assured that they run programming any time school is not in session - and they expressed excitement at the opportunities of intersessions. However, intersession times will need to be further developed. Opportunities exist for additional offerings for students in addition to traditional "childcare," including in-depth projects, tutoring, job shadowing, etc. This calendar is a "jumping off" point for educators to come together with students, families, and the community to talk about how time could be used differently for schooling. We appreciate your perspective and we hope you can participate in one of the upcoming forums.

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  53. Thank you to Support Our Schools for providing an informational session with Larry Waters last night in Colchester. I went into the meeting with an open mind as I want to support our school and do what is best for our children but I have to say that I left feeling very strongly opposed to this. There are certainly some good intentions here but there are far too many "We don't know yet" holes. This feels rushed to implement for the sake of implementation.

    - The vacation weeks where students who are struggling get extra help. They don't know yet who will staff those or how they will be set up. They wont' be mandatory but will need to be staffed not knowing who will attend if anyone at all. This means one kid could be home on vacation while the other one is being punished by having to go to school.

    - Larry Waters believes this may be a step toward year round schooling. How will the region afford the air conditioning for an environment conducive to learning?

    - How will families afford the intercessions with offerings from the Rec Department? It will be funded by families or by tax payers.

    - Current teacher contracts do not cover this calendar so we will have to import and pay for 2 weeks of teachers in addition to the current budget. Also add to the budget another $500k for busing during the breaks.

    I really want to support this but I can't until the "we don't know's" are answered and the clock is ticking with a vote likely on January 14.

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    1. While intersessions will hopefully help students who are struggling, they may also create opportunities for students to engage in more in-depth, hands-on learning. Students could participate in internships or job-shadowing, they could work with local companies on projects, they could have more time dedicated to the arts - there are a lot of opportunities.

      Air conditioning is a topic that may need to be addressed regardless of calendars, as the climate has been changing.

      Teachers' contracts would remain in place per their current agreements. The calendar proposed keeps to 175 common student days as exists now. Districts are considering the shift of summer services dollars to pay for intersession programming. Transportation is being examined to consider some new, regional opportunities in this area.

      This proposal is only a proposal - meant to spark conversations (like this) about how time could be used differently in education. With student needs in mind, superintendents are asking to explore what a new calendar could look like. What would be involved? These are the questions that Superintendents hope to further develop with families and community members at the upcoming forums. We hope you can join us!

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  54. I attended the Support our Schools forum last night in Colchester on Calendar 2.0. What I heard there was that there is no significant research to support this and that there are a lot of costs that will be passed onto taxpayers and parents. This is per the Colchester superintendent. I am in the significant majority of parents that were at the meeting last night that feel that this is poorly thought out, poorly researched, with a lot of potential cost that will be passed on to parents. Within Colchester, there are many questions about how to support working parents and how much cost would be passed onto tax payers. All of this, per my superintendent, not supported by any significant research that says this is good for kids. I am disappointed that this is being considered, given its huge potential negative impact on families, taxes and school districts, without any overwhelming evidence that this is an appropriate long term solution.

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    1. I agree. I hope this calendar doesn't pass. It looks like a train wreck in so many ways.

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  55. I simply believe that this is change for change's sake, and we should work more on making sure that the school system works well with the current calendar, before essentially jumping blind into something else entirely.
    It all seems so hasty - and while you say that the superintendents have been discussing this for years, it is still pretty poorly formed. There are too many unknowns.
    If this passes in January, and then school budgets are supposed to be ready to vote on by March, the school budgets are bound to be a mess. In my community, the budget rarely passes on the first go-round, even with modest increases. This is simply NOT going to be cost neutral. That is a fairy tale no one actually believes. So my question is this - should the calendar be passed, and the school boards forced into making a budget around it, what is going to be cut to pay for it? We've already seen decreases in second language education, librarians, and so much more... it is claimed that one of the goals of the new calendar is to "prepare students for global competition" - How, when the services they have to prepare them will inevitably be cut even further?
    Please, please, I urge you to listen to the people. Do not pass this calendar.

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    1. Please keep in mind that Calendar 2.0 is merely a proposal, meant to spark conversation and ideas around how to better use time for education. What the school calendar looks like for future years is yet to be finalized, but it's important to have conversations about how to continue improving learning opportunities for all children. We hope you will join us at one of the upcoming forums to continue the conversation!

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  56. I attended the forum at the Colchester High School on Monday, Sept 23rd. I understand what was being proposed by the CCSA. That said I want to clarify that I am not in favor of this proposed change. I have listened to what many other parents and teachers at the Cochester forum expressed as concerns, and agree to most all of them. In particular, this process seems very rushed with expediency in getting the proposal passed before anyone really knows what to do with it. It sounds an awful lot like mere politics at work than anything else. I particularly agree with 'Greg' and 'Astrid' above, that this is merely change for change's sake without fully appreciating the consequences of the actions.
    Too many unknowns, from staffing the intersessions and how to pay for staffer's pay, to environmenal conditions associated with the heat and humidity of summer classroms, to additional transportation costs, to conflicts with family time and childcare costs. The proposed avenues of helping families with what to do with the intersession time, programs that have yet to be determined or dreamed up, seem all to canned and superficial. This proposal if passed is going to make make the lives of many families irritable, at best. As a taxpayer I cannot continue to support ever increasing costs to the school budget with an ever increasing tax bill. My pay at work has barely been able to keep up with the cost of living. If the proposal goes through there will likely be a backlash against not only the school budget but any / all elected officials in Colchester who supported it.

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  57. I, like many people commenting on this blog, am looking for more information about this proposal. There are some basic questions that have just not been answered. Initially it appeared that the forums would be information gathering sessions for community members. Based on the format of the meetings posted on this site, I am curious about when and if questions will be answered. Because if there are still not answers to essential questions after years of work by the CVSA then I am confident those answers will not be found before August 2014.

    Why is the purpose behind this calendar? I have read a lot about preparing students for the 21st century. Is there evidence that is not already happening?

    How will the intercessions be funded? Included in that are bussing, cafeteria, and custodial services. We cannot rely on the reallocation of summer service funds. In most districts those services are provided only to students on IEPs. Therefore, will the intercessions also only provide opportunities for special education students? Furthermore, we cannot expect to reduce substitute costs based on the hope that teachers take professional development during the intercessions. As a teacher I will continue to choose valuable PD opportunities regardless of when they are offered.

    Who will work with students during the intercessions? Teachers have master agreements that include 175 student days and other non-student days. It stands to reason that they will not be working with students without additional compensation.

    How will custodians clean entire school buildings with only 8 weeks of summer? Right now, it barely gets done with the 10+ weeks. If the solution is hiring more custodial help then that is an additional cost.

    Will the results of each superintendent's vote on the calendar be made public? I am aware that the vote is public record, but does that include individual voting results?

    When presenting such a proposal it seems to me that having answers to these questions would be a good idea. There is a great deal of opposition to the calendar because there is far too much up in the air. Not to mention that several times since June 3 readers have been told there would be additional research posts. By my count, there are only two and many readers have called those into question as being propaganda rather than research.

    In closing I will say that it would greatly benefit the CVSA to disseminate information about this calendar to all their stakeholders in a uniform way. With all the communication methods available to them, such as Alert Now, weekly school newsletters, etc., it is shocking that there has not been consistent communication to date. One can't help but wonder why.

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  58. I live in Burlington which as you know is a college town. Many of the parents are faculty at the colleges in the area. During the summer my husband teaches a summer program at a satellite campus. Our vacation schedules are currently non concurrent and this proposed schedule further fractures our family life. My children would be without their father for at least a month, forced to stay inside during blossoming spring time. Vermont summers are already too short. What happened to starting school after labor day? I will be loathe to have my children out of school during the bitter winter months so they can sit around or chose from the either overpriced or deleterious, under-supervised budget options. Why do all the majority of the students have to suffer when those that are struggling can attend summer school for free? We visit family during the summer and if we have to visit family during the winter then my children would be stuck inside in homes not suited for long hours with children. Also, since we leave for the summer we rent out our home. This change would present a serious financial loss, a loss of family together time, loss of sunshine, and loss of faith in the local school district.

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  59. As you were doing your extensive research, I expect you must have seen the model described in the link below. It appears to be very effective and minimally disruptive to implement. This is the kind of thing that you could probably get public and academic support for quite easily, and avoid the many risks associated with the 2.0 proposal. Is this an option you considered? If no, why not? If yes, why was it rejected in favor of the current proposal?
    http://www.edutopia.org/stw-differentiated-instruction-budget-assessment-how-to

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    1. Everyone should read the report at that link. It's a concept that makes perfect sense, and has documented success for at least one occurrence.

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    2. I agree - that link is very informative. In order to find solutions to existing problems, multiple options need to be thoroughly investigated. In our case, according to the Superintendents themselves, only a calendar change was considered. This is one of the reasons the entire process was flawed. A better process would have been to consider and research multiple options for improving our schools, and then present them for public discussion. In this way, we would be more likely to end up with a solution that we can all buy into, as opposed to having a change that has very little popular support and supporting evidence forced upon us all.

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    3. Aaaand... where is an acknowledgement from one of the superintendents that this has been seen, read and will be considered? They have heard loud and clear at the forums that the public expects alternatives, and that no reputable organization tries to solve a problem by only considering one possible solution.

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  60. I am interested in seeing a vision of what implementation will look like. I could not see a proposed budget plan and investment dollars needed for capital investments in facilities (i.e. heating & cooling in buildings), nor did I see any tangible examples of what student learning plans will entail. I would like to see these plans for all learners at every level, and I mean every level. I am finding a lack of concrete facts, which will be essential for any decision. Does this exist, anywhere?

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    1. Steph, As I understand it there is no information on budget or capital investments. This is because the budget and the Calendar are not actually linked and are not dependent on each other as the school districts are currently set up. In other words, the budget and the calendar are two different items up for vote separately. The Colchester Super estimated that the cost of bussing alone for the remedial sessions would be in excess of $50,000.

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  61. I attended the first public forum at EHS this evening. I echo the comments stated so well by several participants. There should have been current teacher input during the feasibility study of this proposal. Only our children's teachers can truly know what their learning needs are as they are the ones working with them each day. Why were they not involved in the process? Mark Andrews replied that certain education professionals in Montpelier were consulted. It is astonishing that the superintendents failed to consult the local teachers currently working on the ground with our kids. Many of the questions raised tonight would have been brought forward from the beginning if our teachers had been included on the task force.

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  62. I attended the Forum at Essex High School tonight, for those of you who could not attend, here is what I took away from the meeting:
    (The original format was abandoned after about 15 minutes because it was clear to the superintendents it was not working. The remaining 1 hour and 45 minutes was an open mic for participants to ask the superintendents questions)
    1) The superintendents clearly stated that there is NO RESEARCH available that indicates Calendar 2.0 will improve learning.
    2) Based on the participants attending the forum, people are PASSIONATE about education, and PASSIONATELY opposed to Calendar 2.0.
    3) There are currently NO ANSWERS to the majority of questions that people have been asking over and over and over for the last several months.
    4) People want the school districts to address CURRICULUM, and what happens IN SCHOOL, and not try to address issues through the calendar.
    In conclusion, I recommend abandoning Calendar 2.0 and then finding a way to turn the passion I saw tonight into creative dialogue with the superintendents to address CURRICULUM and what happens IN SCHOOL.

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  63. I heard there is no peer review research supporting this calendar proposal. Is this true? (Peer review is the evaluation of work by one or more people of similar competence to the producers of the work (peers). It constitutes a form of self-regulation by qualified members of a profession within the relevant field. Peer review methods are employed to maintain standards of quality, improve performance, and provide credibility. In academia peer review is often used to determine an academic paper's suitability for publication.)

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  64. It really bothers me that your press releases and posts keep saying that the calendar shifts "about ten days" from the summer to the school year. According to your own calendar for next year, it is actually 14 days. Please be accurate so that we can trust you.

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    1. I agree 150%. It wasn't until Wed night that I heard that it was 14 days. Two weeks in June and a week in August taken off the summer calendar.

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  65. Could you explain what the teachers do during the current down times for professional development? Are they attending seminars and classes the entire Thanksgiving and Christmas time breaks? How about over February and April breaks? And summer? How much of these current "breaks" are being used for their development? I know, at least at my kids school, that they get a day off a couple times a year for "parent teacher conferences" but instead of doing them those days, they make you come in at night the week before.

    Please tell me, how many days a year, during the school year and even in summer, are teachers required to work. Not the standard, "they work year round" reply. But actual days, during breaks, that teachers must be working. I'd really like to know if their development could be handled as it is if they had less time off like the rest of the working population.

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  66. How strange to think that this proposed calendar is only 10 months away and, if adopted – much to the opposition of parents/tax payers, there is no concrete plan for the so-called “intercessions.” Questions about what will happen at intercessions, who will teach, which students will have access to them and what the additional cost would be could not be answered by the task force during the 10/2 public forum at EHS. The only responses given were “we’re not sure” and that intercessions will work differently in each district. Superintendent Alberghini’s comment about being in talks with an enrichment program in Richmond that assists 60 students during the summer was troublesome. 10 months away from a proposed calendar and the schools are only in “talks” with one small program? I truly appreciate any effort made to improve our children’s educational days but this is clearly the wrong approach and will prove to be disruptive to both students and families. Has the task force contacted local employers to see if they’d be willing to adjust their employees’ work schedules to accommodate this calendar? Most of us need to work to pay taxes which pay school salaries. So, as we are essentially the employers of the educators, it should go without saying that the decision to implement this calendar should come down to a public vote. Additionally, it was clearly stated by the task force that there is no evidence proving the proposed calendar will improve education. I appreciate their honesty on this; however, the phrase “ready, fire, aim” comes to mind.

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  67. I attended the forum in Essex. I would like to say that I was very happy that the facilitators were willing to abandon the original format. This web site has been a great place for parents to share concerns, but it has been very poor in getting answers. I was really hoping to get more information. My take-away from the meeting is that there are way too many unknowns about implementation to consider rolling this out for 2014-15.

    I don't think the forum succeeded in even getting support for the premise that a change to the calendar is needed. One thing the superintendents MUST do during their presentation in future forums is explain why they went after the calendar instead of the many other options to improve student performance.

    Also, superintendents, arm yourself with FACTS. I understand some of it is hard to quantify, but other areas would be easy. For example, how many days are teachers out of the classroom for training/development. How many of those days would be recovered by using the new calendar and what does that translate to in cost savings. Not a soft number like potentially thousands of dollars, but hard numbers. I want to see something like in 2011-12 teachers were out of the classroom for a total of 89 days in the xxx school district for professional development. We estimate 60% of these could be eliminated with the proposed calendar. This translates into a savings of $18,0000. It's going to be very difficult to get any support for this initiative without this level of planning.

    In general if feels like the process was broken. Details around satisfying the goals should be planned first, and it needs to include educators that are in the school. Then adjust the calendar to accommodate them. For example, things like job shadowing, remediation/reteaching would be better served by 1 day twice a month instead of three full weeks through out the year.

    One complaint I heard repeated last night is the amount of time "wasted" in the current schedule. I think it could make sense to build a few non-teaching days into the schedule. For example, our school always does day-long field-trips in the spring. This could be managed by chaperons and teaching assistants instead of classroom teachers, and be an enrichment day, not count as a student classroom day. To me, it's just the kind of thing that the intercessions are designed for. Can we build a few of these into the schedule, increasing student classroom time, without dramatically affecting the calender.

    I also have to say I thought it was disingenuous to ask parents to design a calender. on the spot. This may have had value at the beginning of the process, but at this stage it sends the message that one of us could scribble out a calendar in 5 minutes that's equally valid to the proposed calendar the task force has spent months developing.

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  68. I think it's clear that this calendar is being proposed for the convenience of the teachers, not to help the students. Because the school districts are continually changing the curriculum, they want to give the teachers more time to adjust to the new standards. But it looks like they have not thought about how this schedule would affect the students. The biggest objection (there are many objections) that I can see is that the schools are brutally hot in the summer, and there is no way that the school districts will get the funding to air condition all the schools. I think this fact alone should kill the new calendar idea.
    I know our teachers work hard and I have enormous respect for them. I wish the districts would stop changing the curriculum continuously, and let our teachers teach!

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  69. During the meeting at EHS last night, the Superintendents showed some slides on the issues they were trying to address, but then they stated that the only thing they considered was a calendar change. They admitted that there was no evidence that a calendar change would improve on any of the issues presented. If there is no evidence that the calendar change will solve the issues, why go ahead with the change? It seems to me that the Superintendents got together only to propose a new calendar and not to truly solve the underlying issues. I don't see how you can genuinely solve a problem if you only consider one "solution."

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  70. Superintendent DeNova recently stated, “We’re not going to do something that would be in opposition to the masses." How will the level of opposition be determined?

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  71. Part 1

    I write as a concerned professional AND parent. I have worked with hundreds of children for over 25 years, specializing in language-based learning, attention, processing, and the speech-language-reading connection. I have had extensive training on neuro-based learning, early childhood development, and how curriculum and teaching methods are truly at the root of our educational challenges.

    It would appear the school calendar is irrelevant – and that is not my opinion, but what 20-30 years of study and analysis indicates. This is NOT a novel idea, there are numerous schools who have tried a ‘modified’ calendar with minimal to no benefits AND significant costs and frustrations thrust onto families. Based on last night’s forum in Essex, the superintendents know this as well.

    1. RESEARCH?
    I understand this idea started nearly six years ago when you visited Vail, Colorado; and, although you report the assistant superintendent at that time, Joseph Sassone, credited student improvements on their curriculum (2), you felt their “modified” calendar had more influence??? In my research on Vail’s school district, reports are very clear – they attribute their turnaround to Reteach and Enrich program (1). This is a direct instruction approach with very successful and measurable gains. Unlike our current movement toward “constructivism” which means letting the students ‘construct’ some or all of the essential information for themselves; for example, whole language vs. phonics, and currently our use of Everyday Math and Connected Math. The research is very clear – “… overwhelming evidence that, for everyone but experts, partial guidance during instruction is significantly less effective than full guidance.”

    “Evidence from well-designed, properly controlled experimental studies from the 1980s to today also supports direct instruction guidance.”

    By the way, Vail School District runs on a Full-Year-School calendar – which means they have June and July off, but attend school for the ENTIRE MONTH OF AUGUST.

    (1) http://www.edutopia.org/stw-differentiated-instruction-budget-assessment-how-to

    (2) http://www.schoolsmovingup.net/cs/smu/view/e/5180?x-t=smu.presenter.view&user=7269

    (3) http://www.vail.k12.az.us/our-schools/student-calendar/2012-2013-student-calendars/

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  72. Part 2

    2. WHY THE CALENDAR?
    Based on my research, traditional school calendars have been “modified” since the 70’s across the US. It seems to have started due to over-crowding in larger metropolitan areas (LA, Chicago, DC). The fact that this is NOT a novel idea, actually provides a lot of information we can review: achievement outcome measures, pros and cons to families, local businesses, tourism, intersession performance, as well as cost analysis and possible benefits. I’m sure you have reviewed all of this information, as I did, and yet I’m surprised this proposal is truly being considered. The benefits just are NOT there. If there were specific benefits, I am sure you and any other school would be stipulating each one.

    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=4&ved=0CDgQFjAD&url=http%3A%2F%2Fmrsfout.files.wordpress.com%2F2011%2F08%2Fyear-round-school-counterpoint.docx&ei=vsZFUtjDC_as4AOy4YGADg&usg=AFQjCNEOIfKspzr7xtY9eGSGpvwhKbuIBQ&bvm=bv.53217764,d.dmg

    http://education.iupui.edu/CUME/pdf/yearroundschoolingarticle2011.pdf

    This report is quite extensive (I did read all 50 pages because I feel it truly is that important), but if you jump to page 38 – 40 there is NO measurable benefit.
    http://sitemaker.umich.edu/carss_education/files/extended_day_cooper.pdf

    As a result, I go back to my original question – why the calendar? If you really want to have a conversation about ‘quality education’ – let’s talk about what happens between 8 am – 3 pm (give or take) for 175 days each year. That’s 35 out of 52 weeks each year. Currently we have a 10-week summer, which leaves the students and teachers 7 weeks vacation during the school year. LET’S TALK ABOUT CURRICULUM AND TEACHING METHODS.

    I do agree ½ days are not very productive (I did work at CVU for 6 years), and partial weeks are often looked upon as ineffective by students and faculty, lacking in consistency and purpose. Adjusting these should not radically impact the summer?

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  73. Part 3

    3. Do you really believe it could be cost-neutral?
    I heard you say and read on numerous occasions we could “re-allocate money from the summer fund.” Does that mean we would no longer have any summer programs? What about the students on an IEP (learning disabilities) who have had to provide evidence that a significant regression would occur to qualify for a summer program? By the way, how are those ‘programs’ doing? Have you measured summer school progress? This would be similar to “intersession.”

    You also indicate we could “possibly” save money on substitutes as teachers’ professional development would be taken during “intersessions.” I think it would be important to see a line item on how much each school / district actually pays out on substitutes. I agree most classes are lost when a sub is called, but that’s again another conversation.

    I agree with many before me, any good ‘business’ idea needs to be itemized. (I do believe you are in the ‘business’ of educating our children and there are financial limits and responsibilities.) There needs to be some kind of cost analysis. I cannot recall anything a school district has done in recent years that was cost-neutral?

    This is just one site that spells out their costs: fees paid directly from families, transportation, food, and staffing. http://www.acps.k12.va.us/mtvernon/faq.php

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  74. Parts 4 & 5

    4. To date I have not found any specific plan for the Intersessions – a lot of “possibles” or “maybe” or “opportunities” for this or that. I listened very carefully to your radio interview on 9/24, in which you stated, “some kids may only need a few hours, once or twice a week during the intersessions.” Really, you can “fix” or “close the gap” in a few hours in the fall and then perhaps in the spring? If this is true, why not do that before or after school??? With all do respect, I have been working in this field for well over 25 years, “closing the gap” doesn’t work that way; it’s not a ‘quick fix.’

    You did mention a school in Essex who are actually trying a different weekly schedule. Teachers have a four-day week with longer days to meet with students before or after school. Perhaps we should measure how much progress those students can make over the year before we turn 1000’s of lives upside down by changing a whole annual calendar.

    5. You also stated, intersessions would be ‘voluntary’ – which means teachers may or may not step up – and even if they do, they would need to be paid. Knowing this, you clarified by stating we could use, “highly trained paras.” Who would train them? Who would supervise them? How many would we need? When would the roster be determined, so you could make sure you have enough ‘highly trained paras’ available? Again, I ask, how much will that cost? Also, when would the training take place? (Typically, most summer programs are overseen/run by a few licensed teachers and several paras. More often than not, they are the paras who need the extra income during summer. They are NOT the students’ regular teacher – the one who truly knows and understands their challenges, but yet another type of “sub.”)

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  75. Part 6

    6. Intersessions have also been described as an “opportunity for enrichment, or more in-depth, focused projects, job-shadowing or internships” … Who will supervise these? How will they be measured? Will they be credit bearing? Pass/Fail?

    Seriously, I am concerned with who will determine which students will be “eligible” and for which type of intersession. Also how will a “program” or “method” be selected? Since we are to measure efficacy and progress – how will that be demonstrated? There are just too many variables that seem to go unanswered in your posts or interviews.

    My concerns center on vague language, too much jargon, a lot of “hope” and “imagination” … at this point children, parents and taxpayers need facts. Research lacks empirical evidence to support this “change,” and in fact, it shows the opposite.

    http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/theses/472/

    http://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ674001

    http://jht.sagepub.com/content/35/2/147.abstract

    http://books.google.com/books?id=5YdM_Nwvpx8C&pg=PA52&lpg=PA52&dq=effects+modified+school+calendars+student+achievement&source=bl&ots=o5x5aprTn_&sig=mz4nBK2-OxkmmBE14kT-1R0yjG0&hl=en&sa=X&ei=qs9EUoPOLIjQ8wTfm4GwBw&ved=0CEsQ6AEwBQ#v=onepage&q=effects%20modified%20school%20calendars%20student%20achievement&f=false

    http://education.seattlepi.com/pros-cons-modifying-school-calendars-2540.html

    http://education.iupui.edu/CUME/pdf/yearroundschoolingarticle2011.pdf

    So let’s talk about the REAL ISSUES – how is the time being spent each day? What curriculum is working and what is NOT? Current research is fairly clear – the human brain learns best through full instructional guidance. It is more effective and efficient than partial or minimal guidance for novices (comprising virtually all students).

    Thank you,
    - Erin Hyer, Speech Language Pathologist
    specializing in neuro-based learning methods


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  76. http://www.samessenger.com/node/5065

    Here is the article from The St Albans messenger. I had to work to find some info on the meeting. It concludes that this calendar would not be implemented next year. Is this true? Have we won the battle?

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  77. I like the new calendar proposal and support the effort to make a school calendar that is more efficient and effective. Teachers need time to reflect and "catch up" during the school year. The current calendar gives teachers no time to catch up after a crazy start, and little time to prepare for the crazy finish to the school year. I like the placement of the proposed off weeks in October and May. I also believe that it will provide students with a number of opportunities and much needed time off as well. I think the list of opportunities mentioned in the proposal (customized learning, partnerships with community organizations, professional learning, and quality instruction time) are all possible under the new calendar.
    As far as "hot classrooms" ... the proposal only adds a week to the end of the current school year. The average temperature in Burlington is 75 on June 15 and only goes up a degree by June 22. If heat was such a concern, then air conditioning should have been put into schools years ago.
    I think that overall, this is a minor shift in the calendar, but could have some positive results for teachers and students. If the community could be provided with specifics (plans/cost) then the community would be more willing to consider this proposal. The research does not really show what calendar is better, but I think it would be unwise to discount a potentially positive change if there are some clear benefits. It is really what WE do with the time that counts.

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    1. Aaron I am sorry but you are mistaken. It adds 14 days on to the calendar. 9 in June and a whole week in August. there is a lot of data to support decreased learning in hot environments and in all honesty I am surprised that you would try to equate outside temp and inside a building temp. You know there is a big difference, as do I. I asked above if the temp data had ever been collected, as stated in the response to the very first question on this page. No response=no data collection

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  78. So many people had such well-stated comments tonight at the CVU meeting, the range of which was quite extensive. While I was impressed that the students could get up and support an unpopular idea with their own articulate thoughts, I was struck by the young man who said that he has 4 hours of homework every night, plus 10 hours every weekend. He also stated that he was involved in sports. This seems quite excessive; and the thought that the intercessions would help him catch up on his homework is poorly explored; it might allow the students to catch up for one week, but then they would be right back in the same boat. Something is seriously wrong with this situation.

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