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Reconsider school calendar change for HSE Schools

This petition had 159 supporters

Parents and teachers would like for the HSE School Board to reconsider the change in the 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 school calendars. The calendar adopted by the School Board on November 20, 2017 changes the Thanksgiving Break to a full week, as opposed to three days (Wednesday through Friday). In addition, the change moves the start date of school up two days from August 8, 2018 to August 6, 2018. The teacher start day would be moved up from August 6, 2018 to August 2, 2018.

The school district recently sent out a survey to parents, teachers, and community members asking for input on the school calendar. In the posted survey results (with over 13,500 respondents), 56% of those surveyed gave the answer that it was more important to have a longer summer and shorter breaks during the school year. When asked their preference if Thanksgiving was not included in fall break, an overwhelming 65% of respondents indicated that they would prefer three days at Thanksgiving, as opposed to 19% preferring a full week at Thanksgiving. When asked their preference for a school calendar, 33% of respondents indicated that they preferred a school calendar for 2018-2019 that starts on Wednesday, August 8th and ends on Friday, May 24th. This was the highest percentage of any of the other options.

The parents and teachers surveyed feel that their opinion was asked, but not taken into consideration in the final decision. Reasons for wanting the preferred calendar include, but are not limited to: childcare issues, summer job issues (for older students), restriction of family summer vacations, excessive time off in a short amount of time (one week in October, one week in November, two weeks in December), the scheduling of extra-curricular activities, a concern for our youngest students starting out with a full week of school (as opposed to easing into the school routine by having three days in the first week), and concerns surrounding pre-first day activities such as ice cream socials and KG Meet the Teacher Nights.

We are asking that the School Board reconsider the decision and allow for more discussion at the next school board meeting scheduled for December 13, 2017.

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