Fix the Yeshiva/Bais Yaakov Calendar

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It is around this time of year when meetings take place to decide when camp should begin and end as well as when the following school year should start. Subsequently the entire school calendar is devised. I am writing to you today with a request. I am asking if you could give some thought to deviating from the standard old school calendar and adapting a calendar that is more in tune with the needs of your parent body in the year 2018. 

Please realize that the school calendar does not only affect your school alone, it affects just about every family in the community that has school age children. The babysitters playgroups and nurseries in our community all follow the school calendar. For example, they give off on a Tuesday in November for "in service day" even though their staff are not attending workshops to become better educators. 

On an average year, there are 10 days off between school and camp in June and then another 10- 14 days off between camp and school in August / September. Preschools and local playgroups tend not to start until after Labor Day. The girls schools have Chanukah Vacation from Friday through Tuesday and then Mid winter vacation less than a month later from Friday - Wednesday. Just these days alone adds up to more than 20 regular weekdays when a parent must take off from work. Besides all these "regular" weekdays that the children are off, there are also Yomim Tovim that parents must take off.     

When creating the school calendar, please keep in mind that today more than ever families  have 2 working parents. When children have off from school on a regular weekday one of these parents has to take off from work. It would be very nice if both parents could take off and spend quality time with their children or go on a small trip. However, when there are so many days that the children have off it is impossible to ever have both working parents off the same day. The average job does not give this much vacation time. Subsequently only one parent takes off at a time and the family never gets a chance to spend much needed quality time together. I heard from a friend of mine that this past Tuesday when the girls had Chanukah vacation, there were more than 60 girls roaming the offices and hallways of Yeshiva Darchei torah. Is this why we give Chanukah Vacation, so that parents should take their children to work with them?

I would like to suggest cutting out a day from Chanukah vacation and two days from mid winter vacation. In addition, there should be no more than 5 business days off between camp and school and again between school and camp.  I know that it takes time to clean and prepare the buildings for the upcoming school year but I believe that a full week is enough time. I also understand that teachers and principals dedicate their lives to educating our children and have to work in the summer to supplement the below average income they receive from our schools. However, a week off  in June and a week off in August along with all the Yomim Tovim off, is really a nice vacation. I would rather a teacher take a few days off throughout the year and have a substitute replace them then give the entire school off so that the teachers could have vacation time. 

I would appreciate if you can give serious thought to my request and I look forward to hearing from you.



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