Tue
Oct 2 2007
10:01 am
By: WhitesCreek

After the experience with the brutal heat of early August, the Knox County School Board has moved the start of school to one week later.

What's wrong with the way it was when I was a kid? We got out of school on Memorial Day weekend and went back after labor day. I know things have changed but would it be that difficult to start Roane County Schools a bit later?

Topics:

Left an opening there.

There is a whole lot more to learn now.

Ah, but we go the same

Ah, but we go the same number of days...180

But you're right...And I've forgotten what I did learn, anyway.

Starting School Later?

Start school later or end earlier and then have to do away with fall and/or spring break. It is a trade-off. Strong opinions on either side of the argument. The group from Knoxville that is the advocate of later starts mentioned in the Knox News article has a good (link...) website discussing pros and cons.

Setting school system calendars generally is the most debated issue that a school board has each year. Everybody has an opinion on what works and rarely is there an agreement even within what seemingly is a homogeneous group of people (e.g. within teachers, admin staff, etc.). Educational Council, made up of staff generally makes recommendations -- not many people have a job where employees make their own calendar (adhering to state requirements of course).

Tough issue.

Just wondering

My argument has always been we should keep the same number of days, but start later and end later. Where tourism is big, this is an economic must.

Studies in other Southern states have shown significant economic advantages, as well as health and safety benefits, to starting later and staying later.

But my question is, does Football have anything to do with the calendar? I'm not being facitious, just wondering.

If one Tennessee county starts after Labor Day, it sort of messes with their school's performance/participation in August games. We could start all the games later, like September. But if the county/school is lucky enough to go to tournaments, would that push the final games too far into December?

Just wondering.
grasshopper

Football could be independent of the schools

We should not be making important educational decisions based on any game schedules, football or otherwise.

Making the school schedule fit the need for labor does make sense.

-- OneTahiti

Sporting Events and the Calendar

Sporting event dates are not factored into the Roane County school calendar - but if a later starting date such as after Labor Day was considered then certainly sports should be taken into account. (Note: Tennessee state law says school can't start after Labor Day. The latest school system to start in the state is Sevier County that starts the Friday before Labor Day. This is because many of their students work at the tourist places in Pigeon Forge).

In Tennessee, 213 schools played two football games before Labor Day. For some of these schools that is two home games - or 40% of their home football schedule. This could result in significant revenue lost for the schools sports programs since interest in the game is less when school is not in session. In most cases, football revenue is the significant sports revenue for the school. Volleyball, Cross County, Golf and Girls Soccer, all have a first contest on August 20th. Generally, a coach has to have tryouts, select a team and practice - all before the 20th - so it certainly would help the coach if school was in session so they could get the word about tryouts out to prospective players.

Now, before the TSSAA bashing starts about them starting sports later consider that the TSSAA has a membership of 330 public high schools and 80 private schools, from 136 school systems from across the state. They have to balance the content of ALL school calendars when setting sports dates - setting sports calendars for the entire state is indeed a tough process.

Thanks

Thanks a bunch earlnall. That answers questions I have had for some time. I'm not going to bash the TSSAA. Just wanted a few answers. Thanks again.
grasshopper

Bashing TSSAA is MY job...

I'm just too busy right now... ;>)

One thing occurs to me...

The Board is including everyone in this decision except the customers.

Everybody has an opinion on what works and rarely is there an agreement even within what seemingly is a homogeneous group of people (e.g. within teachers, admin staff, etc.). Educational Council, made up of staff generally makes recommendations -- not many people have a job where employees make their own calendar

Thanks for giving us some idea of what the Board goes through. I appreciate you folks.

I know it's a difficult constituency to please, but I would consider ways of including students and parents in the decision making process. Being the Internet Whiz that you are, I look forward to seeing what happens.

Teachers are parents too!

At one time they were students also. Actually teachers, staff, aides, and all school system employees are customers and consumers of the educational product. In other words, we have experts on this task. But, it is one of the most difficult jobs I've experienced.

That being said, there is always room for improvements and suggestions.

Here's a link to state attendance requirements:

(link...)

Nah...

Actually teachers, staff, aides, and all school system employees are customers and consumers of the educational product.

They get a pay check, inadequate as it is, in some cases.

Focus ought to be on the students, which are both the consumers and the product. IMHO.

What changed? Standardized

What changed? Standardized achievement tests. The systems want to start earlier so they can get in more preparation before the tests (note I said preparation, not teaching or learning).

I'm not sure, smalc

I remember taking a lot of tests when I was a kid, too.

But I do hear that classes lighten up significantly after T-caps, etc. and that the last few weeks, even the last month at some schools, is a waste.

My sources tell me that's rapidly changing under Dr. McGriff, however.

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