Reconsideration of the Hamilton Southeastern School Year Calendar for 2018-2019, 2019-2020

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Dear Hamilton Southeastern School Board Members,

I am creating this petition on behalf of students, teachers, and parents who are frustrated involving the recent HSE Year Schedule for 2018-2019 and 2019-2020. The calendar that was chosen has several negative effects on students, teachers, and parents. Some of these involve clubs, transportation, sports, schedules, daycare, etc.

One of the largest consequences of this schedule, is having negative effects on clubs, such as band, speech team, fall plays/musicals, sports, etc. The longer week for Thanksgiving (only 2 days), comes the fact that groups such as these lose valued time on practicing, working, etc. Even though it's only 2 days longer, both of those days come with time for these groups to get more work in. Without these two days, groups have to rearrange their schedules and have to practice more since they've lost two full days.

Another negative effect is scheduling for parents. Parents who have children, most likely in elementary schools, now have to arrange childcare for more days since the breaks are longer. This usually comes with unneeded hassle. Most parents would like to have shorter breaks, especially thanksgiving break, that way they don't have to do this.

Another negative effect is the fact that school starting earlier can rattle younger children. Most children, when they are young, are nervous/afraid of going back to school. The biggest problem is that it starts on a Monday, other than the usual Wednesday. Students now no longer have Monday and Tuesday off to get ready for school, but are now rushed into a full week of school, other than just Wednesday - Friday.

Another negative effect on school starting earlier is that some students are involved in the Indiana State Fair with 4-H. 4-H involvement has a lot of great impacts on a student. Making the summer shorter diminishes these impacts. (I know that 4-H/Indiana State Fair is an excused absent, but some parents would rather have their children go to school rather than miss days since the school year has just started and is in session)

I could continue on the list of negative effects of the new school calendar, but the most disheartening fact of this school calendar choice is the fact the HSE School Board did not consider the survey results.

In the survey released by HSE, the fifth question states the following, "Which is most important?" The two choices were "Longer summer with shorter breaks" and "Shorter summer with longer breaks". In the results, 7,516 out of the 13,386, or 56.15%, voted the option "Longer summer with shorter breaks". 5,870 out of the 13,386, or 43.85%, voted "Shorter summer with longer breaks".

In question six, it states "If Thanksgiving is not a part of fall break, it should be:". The choices were "Two days in length", "Three days beginning on Wednesday", and "A full week". Out of 13,452 responses, 16.16% voted for "Two days in length", 64.73% voted for "Three days beginning on Wednesday", and 19.11% voted for "A full week".

In question ten, it states "The following options represent four different models of school calendars. While each model can be adjusted with minor changes, the
basic layout and length of vacations set them apart. Please review them, and select the option you believe is best.To view an actual model, please click the link: Option 1: One week Fall Break and Spring Break. School starts on Wednesday, August 8 and ends on Friday, May 24. Option 2: Two weeks at Fall Break and Spring Break. School starts on Wednesday, August 1 and ends on Friday, May 31. Option 3: One week at Fall Break, one week for Thanksgiving and one week for Spring Break. School starts on Monday, August 6 and ends on Friday, May 24. Option 4: Traditional school calendar with two days for Fall Break and two days for
Thanksgiving. School starts on Tuesday, August 14 and ends Friday, May 24." Option #1 results was 33.38% out of 13,404. Option #2 was 19.96%, Option #3 was 30.21%. Option #4 was 16.45%.

In all of these results, the HSE School Board went against the majority of every question stated above. Why should the HSE Board even release a survey for parents, teachers, and students to answer if they aren't going to take the results in consideration? This results in wondering if the HSE Board cares about the parents, students, and teachers' opinions on certain topics.

Overall, we feel that the choice of the HSE School Board was a poor choice on behalf of students, parents, and teachers. We wish and hope that the HSE School Board will read this petition and hopefully reconsider their choice. I hope to hear a response from the board.

Thank you. 

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