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Oswego 308 Board Approves School Calendars for Next Two Years

Semester will still end in December.

The next two years of school in Oswego 308 will look very familiar.

The 308 board approved the school calendars for 2014-15 and 2015-16 in a  6-1 vote Monday evening.

The board had previously brought up a few issues with the proposed calendars, mostly on the “balance” of the two semesters as the fall semester had 84 days in school and the spring semester had 91 days.

Suggestions had been made to push winter break back, and be in school on Columbus Day and the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.

However, Superintendent Matt Wendt said upon review, three days in the spring semester are set aside for state assessments.

“Teaching and learning would look different on those three days, as course work, etc. will not continue. Consequently, the semester balance is far grater than what we have in print.”

Holidays remain the same in the two calendars and semester will continue to end in December on Thursday the 18th or 17th (depending on which calendar).

School will start on a Monday for the next two years (Aug. 18 or Aug. 17, respectively), despite earlier arguments that elementary children may not be ready for a full first week.

“No calendar is going to be viewed as favorable by all,” said Wendt. “We do have some secondary issues that influence the calendar, but we hope it never becomes a secondary vs. elementary.”

Wendt added that as the district moves forward with more college coursework and procedures of universities that have a semester break, there will be “sacrifices” at the elementary level.

In the future, Wendt said if there ever needed to be more professional development days he recommends the Monday and Tuesday of Thanksgiving break, as he feels the long week break encourages many to not show up for school already on that Tuesday.

The board voted 6-1 on the new calendars, with board president Bill Walsh casting the lone dissenting vote.

The calendars can be viewed by clicking here.

What do you think of the new calendars? Will having two years approved ahead of time be an additional resource for you?

Jane Enviere December 12, 2013 at 03:38 PM
It obviously is a secondary versus elementary issue. They set it up to be one and they got it. And they are clearly going to continue operating that way with "sacrifices" already being planned. Thank goodness the high school students can now forget all that they learned as soon winter break comes instead of struggling to hold it in for 2 whole additional weeks and testing then. I mean, that must be what happens according to previous comments about having to re-teach after break. They forget it anyway. Now they can do it before the holidays. Lol
Karen Ayers December 12, 2013 at 04:03 PM
Jane you obviously don't have any high school children yet or you wouldn't have made the above comments. It's not a matter of forgetting the material. It's a matter of getting a real break, just as everyone in any kind of job needs a break from time to time without stress hanging over their heads. It's like finishing a big project at work before you leave for vacation. You can enjoy your vacation to the fullest. The high school courses especially the honors courses are very rigorous and the kids work extremely hard to earn their grades especially if they play sports also (which is a 6 day a week commitment). And not only sports but any other activity in school as well. You may change your tune once your kids reach this stage. It's stressful socially and academically....much more so than any of the younger years. Maybe try and understand the facts before spewing an answer.
Loreta J. December 12, 2013 at 04:23 PM
I agree Karen!! it's not about them "forgetting" everything they learned before break..They do deserve a real break. My son works extremely hard all semester and the material is not easy...he has an honors class, as well, and I'm thankful that he will have some time to unwind and enjoy some time off. People who think kids just want to forget, or will forget everything they've learned over 2 weeks really don't have much faith in these kids..I am quite proud of mine.
Jane Enviere December 12, 2013 at 05:43 PM
Sorry, but been there, done that as both a student and a guardian of 2. ;). The number one thing that has been talked about in various conversations around our neighborhood and in posted comments has been the desire to get those exams in before break. Several times, I've heard and read complaints about students losing information over the long break, the need to re-teach mmsterial, etc. That seems ridiculous. I'm pleased to say that our own high-achieving, hard working, students managed to make it through years of AP classes, have successful athletic careers, work and live through January finals. It can be done. Lol. Sorry,Karen, but they are well past "the younger years." Now about knowing "facts" before "spewing"...works both ways. :)
Jane Enviere December 12, 2013 at 05:44 PM
Material, darn ipad! Lol
Weston December 12, 2013 at 06:33 PM
I for one am happy the semester ending in December. My student is graduating early (in six days) moving to college January 7th, with classes starting January 13th. If the semester didn't end in December, my student would be taking finals instead of moving to college and getting ready to start college classes. The district is thinking BIGGER when they are aligning their school calendar with colleges. Why would we want to limit seniors when they could be moving forward with their education and go off to college? So kids can have a 5 more days of summer? It's not elementary vs. high school. It's about providing opportunity for ALL kids to go off early if they desire. Eventually, the elementary kids are going to be high school students and appreciate a true winter break whether or not they are graduating early.
Weston December 12, 2013 at 06:56 PM
I'm sorry, just one more comment. My college student just came home for winter break, grateful for the break since he has been working so hard to finish projects, study, and take finals. Winter break is a great time to rest, rejuvenate, and prepare mentally for a fresh start (second semester) in January instead of worrying about finals, cramming, etc. High school students feel the same way. It's not about retaining information, re-teaching, etc (although for some it may play a role) it's about granting a true mental break & getting ready to start refreshed and new once the break is over.
Oswego Mom December 12, 2013 at 08:57 PM
has year-round been considered ?
Jane Enviere December 12, 2013 at 10:43 PM
Oswego Mom - that would be ideal, but I highly doubt it will ever happen in 308. If we aren't going to do year round, I much prefer the schedules that some of my out-of-area friends have - a September start and school goes into June. I actually don't care very much about when the marking periods end, nor when they give the final exams. It's the rationale that's been bandied about that is questionable.

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