MDUSD to Discuss Calendar Change for 2018 – 2020 School Years on Monday – Proposal Calls to Shorten Summer Break by One Week

December 9, 2017 16:00 pm · 45 comments

Summer break could be cut short by a week if a proposal by the Mt. Diablo Unified School District is approved. It will be up for discussion during their board meeting on Monday Dec.11.

According to the proposal by the district, the plan is to start school a week earlier in August, add a day off in January and one in February, and end school three days earlier in June.

If approved, school would start on Aug.16 in 2018 and on Aug.15 in 2019.

The board will not vote on the change on Monday, it’s only being discussed during the meeting.

Monday’s meeting starts at 7 p.m. in the School District Board Room – 1936 Carlotta Dr. in Concord.

USEFUL LINKS:

PROPOSED 2018/2019 Calendar: https://goo.gl/tKC5fG
PROPOSED 2019/2020 Calendar: https://goo.gl/7EwC58

Keep all three barrels up December 9, 2017 at 4:26 PM

I would like to change to a year round school year like Brentwood and Oakley does. Kids don’t need to be out of school for almost 3 months. They get bored very fast and I believe do best with a routine.

Sabrina December 9, 2017 at 6:11 PM

I think that would be great go to school 3 months straight have 3 weeks off and again. I think it would work out better for the kids.

frustrated December 9, 2017 at 5:07 PM

This is something that should be proposed to start with the 2019 school year. This will most likely not be approved until the end of January or beginning of February. That is not enough notice. Many familes and staff have already planned and paid for trips, weddings etc for the first few weeks of August and would be unable to change plans with such late notice.

I understand that a main reason for doing this is so high school students would finish with finals before winter break. This makes sense but could wait one more year to make it easier for all other students, families and staff.

With more notice everyone in the MDUSD community could have time to plan their summer accordingly.

If you agree with the idea of postponing one more year and are unable to attend this board meeting to comment it would only take five minutes or so to email the board members with your thoughts. If you would like your voice heard it is important to make the time to do that.

DodgerDog December 9, 2017 at 5:28 PM

I agree with frustrated. If you’re going to change the calendar, start in Aug.2019. The calendar for the 2018-2019 academic year won’t be approved until almost spring. By then, many families will have made vacation plans, summer camp and sports camp plans, etc.

Do NOT change the 2018-2019 calendar; if you’re going to change the 2019-2020 calendar, do so in spring, 2018.

And what is the rationale for considering these changes?

RegularBARTRider December 9, 2017 at 5:36 PM

They already changed the calendar this school year to have finals before winter break. They did that by having very imbalanced first semester/second semester lengths. There were very few questions asked at the Board meeting about this – they seemed to say that there were very few semester length classes so uneven teaching lengths wouldn’t matter.

Their proposal for the next two years still has second semester being longer than first semester, but moves a few days from second to first. 85 days in first semester, 95 days in second semester.

I’d like to see them get feedback on how this year, with uneven semester length, has gone before continuing the approach. I’d also like to see absence statistics for the last week of school before winter break and how that compares to prior years. Off to write an email to the board….

Me December 9, 2017 at 10:37 PM

There are a lot of kids who are doing the independent study! You can’t say if is the rich people going to aspen or the less rich who are gon g to see Family in another country. So really questioning the schedules on that is not necessary. As far as the schedule yes less days in first semester than the second semester You can see it on the website. Whatever the case these kids need to do their homework and get the grades do no matter if they have shorter grade periods. If you do your work you get the grades if you need help ask. As a parent I will not tolerate my child claiming they didn’t get help. My child knows how to ask me or the school for help. And guess what going to school matters and as a parent I feel we should make sure our kids go to school! Don’t take them out to babysit your younger kids you are only hurting your child

Sabrina December 9, 2017 at 6:15 PM

Everyone needs to remember the kids w disability’s as well how will this affect there schedule, this will work great w my son w autism cus he’s on a schedule and always has summer school cus he needs it, but then my son w adhd it might work and it might not.

theevaluator December 9, 2017 at 6:27 PM

Take a look at the 2018 calendar. Why do they want to start school on a Thursday? Doesn’t make much sense. Who are these brainiacs who think this is a good idea? Obviously never been in the classroom.

A teacher December 10, 2017 at 4:34 AM

I’ve been teaching for over twenty years and prefer a Thursday start day for students. It makes a lot of sense. It gives two days to establish procedures and policies. It’s an easier transition back in to routines before a full week of school. Students have two days to get back in the habit of waking up early, etc then they get a weekend off. Starting on a Monday always made for a very long week for teachers and students.

A retired teacher December 10, 2017 at 5:39 AM

Actually, the first day or two of school is when you spend the time teaching kids the classroom routines and procedures. There are a lot of activities involving getting to know you and each other. I found that I had to ease the children back into the school mode.

I personally think we need a year round schedule and we need to increase the number of days kids are being taught.

Elvis December 10, 2017 at 7:17 AM

Seems as though back in the olden days we started in the middle of the week. Makes the shock to your system bearable, you get a little preview of things to come, see your friends, reconnect, and you don’t have to trudge through a full five days right off the bat.

Julio December 9, 2017 at 6:29 PM

We need the entire state to go back to year around schools The only reason we don’t is because of the teachers union. It is the cost efficient thing to do. We also need longer days like Charter schools. 8 to 4:30.

MeMe December 10, 2017 at 8:45 AM

Teachers want to be paid full time for apart time work. That is why short days and so many vacations days. Unions like teachers and nurses have a terrible for our country.

Badge1104 December 9, 2017 at 6:41 PM

I disagree that kids can’t learn when it’s hot. I remember very much learning in a non-air-conditioned school room in Concord back in the 60s. yes we were uncomfortable but we learn to tolerate it and endure and learn. I think it caught us endurance and stamina. kids are being babied too much nowadays and are becoming fragile adults unable to cope with life.

Cat lover December 9, 2017 at 8:25 PM

Why do they need an extra day in January and February off? They already have days off during those months. And what is the reasoning to end the year a few days early? None of this makes sense. It only makes it harder for those parents who have to deal with childcare!

On another note, how are they going to make up the days the schools were closed during the North Bay fires? Or are they letting those go.

teacher December 15, 2017 at 10:00 AM

They are ADDING an entire week into the school year at the end to give more days off during the year.

Mika December 9, 2017 at 9:00 PM

Year round school is a possibility now that all the schools are air conditioned. I’m all for it. Ask a teacher, they spend the first month of school getting kids back in a routine and refreshing math skills the students lose during the summer.

Sam December 9, 2017 at 9:12 PM

MDUSD just following San Ramon School District. There is no rationale.

FYI December 9, 2017 at 9:25 PM

I think it’s great! Syncs up with CV now and helps with the feeder pattern. It’s still the same number of school days (180), so why y’all trippin?

MeMe December 10, 2017 at 3:29 PM

Because we need more school days.

frustrated December 9, 2017 at 9:38 PM

Cat lover…the state is not having us make up fire days

Abbie R. December 9, 2017 at 10:50 PM

In the period of 1962 to 1967 the rumor was that there would be School on Saturdays if the Republicans Won the Elections.

MeMe December 10, 2017 at 3:30 PM

Well, look where we are now….

Deb December 10, 2017 at 6:08 AM

I’m a teacher and I can tell you it’s unbearable when it’s hot in the classroom. Kids are drowsy and, sorry to say, smelly. It’s difficult enough to continually teach and manage 35 people while prompting students to stay on task without the 100 degree temps. People who’ve not taught, and I’m not saying you have or haven’t, but overall, they shouldn’t make judgments and recommendations on a job they’ve never done.

Deb December 10, 2017 at 6:15 AM

There is no other profession that is so disrespected in the sense that everyone thinks they know better than the person who has trained for it and lived it. Being a student in the past (obeserving teaching) does not even allow one to see the depth of what teachers actually do. I wish people who have no experience teaching would quit judging and making recommendations on a field they really know nothing about.

Deb December 10, 2017 at 6:20 AM

Observing*

Patrick December 10, 2017 at 7:42 AM

No year round school please. What good are 3 weeks off in February? So my kids can sit in the house all day? No way! Summer vacation please. Bikes, skateboards, swimming all day is the way to go.

WC Res December 10, 2017 at 8:25 AM

So glad I only have one more year of this.

Parent December 10, 2017 at 8:28 AM

I have one child in public and one in private. The private school starts a week earlier. It makes no difference. We don’t even notice.
As for year round. No way. We do swim team and summer camps. Being on a swim team gives them a ton of exercise and it’s so fun.

KBK December 10, 2017 at 8:35 AM

Deb,
Absolutely! There are a lot of people who took math in school who think they know how to teach math. Not! In many, if not most cases, it is their children who disrupt the teaching/learning process.

MeMe December 10, 2017 at 8:47 AM

Ugh, why MORE random days off? That is such a terrible thing. We already have so many days off during the school year and that creates such a problem for the kids to stay on track and for the parents to change their routines as well. Just add the extra week and stop taking so many days off during the year. We need more school time anyways.

Claire December 10, 2017 at 8:50 AM

Maybe instead of lighting torches regarding “kids getting their summer” y’all light torches regarding what the kids learn. Maybe then we can find a kid who knows the difference between your and you’re, there their and they’re, may and can, etc.

Anonx December 10, 2017 at 9:43 AM

What are these “teacher in-service days” or “teacher professional development day?” Kids are off those days but the teachers are there and why is Cesar Chavez a legal holiday when most people work? I agree, too many weird days off during school year!

Susan December 10, 2017 at 9:55 AM

Sooooo glad Im retiring this month!

William in the house December 10, 2017 at 9:57 AM

What gives school districts the right to dictate family and other schedules, by shifting the starting dates around? Any major changes such as year round school need to be voted on by the families involved. It’s not about what the schools think is best, and unilateral action won’t work.

teacher December 15, 2017 at 10:04 AM

You voted for the School Board to make these decisions.

Rdub December 10, 2017 at 10:16 AM

Someone seriously recommending that kids don’t need AC because they toughed it out back in the 60s. Talk about a dinosaur being out of touch. That is what us younger folks have to deal with, bootstraps and an i got mine mentality.

frustrated December 10, 2017 at 12:24 PM

MeMe……For the record…teachers ONLY get paid for the days they work!!!!

RegularBARTRider December 10, 2017 at 6:17 PM

From the MDUSD agenda of 1/23/2017 where the 2017-18 calendar was voted on:
“The attached draft of the 2017-2018 Academic Calendar has been developed with input provided by Mt. Diablo Education Association (MDEA), other bargaining unit representatives and District department heads. We are now bringing this forward for Board approval.”

Monday’s agenda:

“The attached drafts of the 2018-2019 and the 2019-2020 Academic Calendars have been developed and input has been provided.”

Did they get input from MDEA this year and just don’t want to say who the input came from, or did they not get MDEA’s input this year?

Annie December 10, 2017 at 6:59 PM

Actually the District does ask the Unions for their input, but the final decision is the District. People need to go to a Board Meeting if they don’t like it. A lot of the Union people are also parents in the District. So,we always have concerns about how things are ran.

MDUSD Teacher December 10, 2017 at 7:41 PM

@teacher I completely agree with you. I’m also a teacher in the school district and MDUSD has extremely poor communication with their employees. Sadly, we find out most information through Claycord. I will be at a family reunion in August, so unfortunately, my elementary school students will be starting the year off with a substitute for a week if this passes. Other teachers I know work summer school which ends in late July, and they use August as their only time to vacation. Why not start this in Fall 2019 when MDUSD employees and MDUSD families haven’t already made August vacation plans?

Strad December 10, 2017 at 7:50 PM

So what’s best for the kids?

Grammarpolice December 10, 2017 at 8:59 PM

I teach in MDUSD. This a a sneaky move by the district. They are telling the elementary teachers that this is so high schools can finish their semester before winter break, but this year they already finish the semester before the break. They are using the high school thing as a skapegoat. Fall high school sports will fall apart. In my 14 years with the district, they will be having our start date almost a month earlier than when I first started teaching, and never with a valid explanation. Last Friday they amended the proposed calendar by keeping the same start date and extending the year one day longer, no explanation. The administration is prohibiting the teachers to share the news of this meeting using our district email. This should be district news and should be allowed to be shared. Our union is currently waiting for an administration answer as to why information about this meeting cannot be shared with our students’ families. Personally, as a mom an a teacher, I hold the traditional belief school should start after Labor Day and end mid-June. Professionally, I believe it’s best for kids that way, too.

Also a teacher December 11, 2017 at 10:26 AM

@Teacher–the teacher’s union DID get input and answered questions about the proposed schedule change at the last two Representative Assemblies (in both November and December). Please speak with your site rep for more details. Or, if you don’t have a site rep (some schools don’t because no one has time to volunteer), please volunteer to be one so that you’ll have the information when you need it.

cranky December 11, 2017 at 12:58 PM

I get the sense if we talk about this a bit more we can get to the RIGHT answer – wisdom of crowds and all. And I’m confident the powers that be are riveted to this blog entry just waiting for us to come to a consensus.

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