School Till July 26? Sneak a Peek at Five Calendars DISD's Looking at For Next Year.

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Dave Granlund, via
Used to be, you knew school was back in session day after Jerry Lewis was on teevee, teetering in a tux. Now, of course, kiddos report back at the end of August. But how long will that last? Not quite sure: Amongst the many, many, many items of interest on the Dallas Independent School District's board briefing agenda this week is "Discussion of School Calendars," which looks fairly benign till you click through to find the five options you'll also see after the jump.

Long story short: Two of the five would begin the school year after Labor Day, on September 4 -- and one of those would drag out the school year till July 26, with a whopping 203 days of instruction, as opposed to the 180 or 182 found on the other four choices.

Now, Option No. 3 does extend and add some vacations: Winter break, say, would run 11 days, not just seven, and there'd be an additional two full weeks off from May 27 to 31 and July 1 to 5. But you'll also notice: The traditional six-weeks grading period has been scraped to make way for the seven-week schedule "to allow for mastery of material." Not only that, but: "Teachers report to campus for two weeks prior to start of school for preparation and staff development purposes." President Obama proposed this a year ago, and while it may not get far, but there's an interesting discussion to be had on the subject. And it starts Thursday morning at 11:30 at 3700 Ross. DISD Options For 2012-2013 School Year Calendar
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22 comments
BigTex
BigTex

copy paper and soap people.....bullshit!!! My kid hasnt has soap at school since we moved here in 2006 and hes now in high school and paper, geez the PTA buys all of the fucking paper for our middle and high schools.....Love the ideas to get rid of announcements and the others you two make but admins dont ever distribute copies of anything to the student bodies as they are hoarding the paper that we buy for them.

Elizabeth Brown
Elizabeth Brown

Nothing about this makes ANY sense.  One, there is no money to pay for two more months of school.  Two, due to the super delightful budget cuts my son will HAVE TO do online or summer courses to meet the bare minimum requirements for graduation because the Arts Magnet had to cut one class period out of their instructional day.  Summer school would be what?  The first 2 weeks of August?  10 days to cover an entire semester of material?  Sure!  Let's do that!  Going to the summer sessions at DCCCD wouldn't really be an option if he was still in school until the end of JULY!  Three, as Mr. MacNaughton mentioned, there is going to be push back from the businesses that rely on student employees for the summer.  Four, it is highly unlikely that my husband would be awarded vacation time during either one of those paltry breaks over Memorial Day or July 4th since every parent at his company would be wrestling over those SAME weeks.  I can live with our family vacations being trashed for 2 years, then my son will graduate and that will be the end of it.  People with younger kids would probably choose to vacation during school.  DISD loves that.  I am boggled that this asinine proposal even made it far enough to be called a proposal.

Doug in DFW
Doug in DFW

Will rolling blackouts count as inclement weather days?

Diane Birdwell
Diane Birdwell

Okay, folks, here we go---again. If you don't speak up now, before the board of trustees, don't bitch later.

DISD Teacher
DISD Teacher

Did I miss the part about how they plan to pay for this?

I did hear that they'd like to require teachers to work the extra days WITHOUT extra pay, which is why so many teachers would look elsewhere.  Only the good ones would get hired away; DISD would be left with the not-good-enough-to-be-hired-elsewhere.  Great.  Good plan.

Even if the teachers did stick around, I'm pretty sure the copy paper people, the electricity company, the soap/paper towels people, the gas-for-buses people, etc. would expect to paid more.

The mere fact that this is even being entertained shows the total disconnect between the trustees and the campuses.  They cannot serve the public bc they have no idea what is going on.  Makes me wonder who suggested this and who stands to profit:  who is selling food, supplies, gasoline, etc to the district?

Want more days for instruction? Cut the excessive number of days devoted to district-written (not mandated by the state) tests.Cut the early release days.Cut the number of days the Math/Science/Social Studies/ELA departments try to justify their existence by pulling teachers out of class for "trainings". Cut the assemblies (you can't believe how many there are).

And if we'd stop paying dimwits a full-time salary to write crappy curriculum, we wouldn't need to cut days or add days.  It all comes back to the incompetent hires who hire more incompetents to write the curric.  

Naturally, the trustees don't know that.  10,000 teachers know it, but not the people "leading" the district.

Michael MacNaughton
Michael MacNaughton

Boy, howdy.  Did I hear a bucketful of comments from folks when I talked this around several weeks ago.  In general, the comments boiled down to "Six more weeks of a crappy education is just *more* crappy education."

The extension was tried back in 2000 and was defeated soundly by the lobbying efforts of many, including Six flags (aka the "Six flags Rule"). http://www.window.state.tx.us/...

99% of the 20 or so teachers I talked to said they would just quit even if they got paid more.

Perhaps extending the hours in the day would make more sense.  But, again, how are we to pay for this with $30M in cuts still to be made before the start of school?

Wait!  How about cutting the 20+ days of testing so we have a real gain in instruction time right now?  [And, just dreaming, maybe change to a great books curriculum?]

Michael MacNaughton
Michael MacNaughton

At one point Diane Rado, a transplanted Chicago reporter working for the DMN last year, was trying to get a foot in the door of the administration to see if there was anything to the consistent rumors that soap, toilet paper and other cleaning supplies were making it to the warehouse but not to the schools.  Likewise there is a persistent rumor that school supplies "required" at the beginning of every year are shipped to a central distribution area and yet never fully redistributed.   I don't know...but in 8 years of DISD school my son's schools NEVER had enogh toilet paper, soap or school supplies.  Never...8 years...two different schools.  

Diane Birdwell
Diane Birdwell

Keep track of assemblies AND how long it takes to do announcements. One fellow union member at a different campus than mine said that their boss went on and on for 15 minutes or so, for announcements...

Note this, so when you appeal your CEI or anything, you can document all the disruptions to your classroom environment.

Diane Birdwell
Diane Birdwell

You cannot cut testing, because it will throw an entire department out of a job---so, we who have to teach, pay the price....

Steven Gangstead
Steven Gangstead

Let them quit.  Maybe then some of the recent graduates with teaching degrees (not alt-certs) can get a job in their field.

Entitled teachers aside, it's a power grab by the district so they can go back and ask for more money next.

Seriously though my wife would like a teaching job to pay back her student loans.

DISD Teacher
DISD Teacher

We can't do a great books curric bc the race-based and nepotism hires currently writing the curric would be out of a job.

Nothing that interferes with the jobs of off-campus people can be considered.

DISD Teacher
DISD Teacher

Announcements kill 1st period and 8th period.  We easily lose 8 minutes a day to them.  8 min X 5 days = 40 minutes of teaching time lost to announcements.

Holly Ellis
Holly Ellis

So now DISD is a job factory, not a profession?

J. Q. Public
J. Q. Public

Yeah, you're one of those parents who want your kids' babysat all summer by teachers.  Hey, they're paid by tax payers, you're a taxpayer, those teachers make great babysitters, right?  Oh, but you'll be taking them out for your July vacation and every other whim. 

No, extra days are not the solution.  Parents who value education and set good examples for their kids make the difference.

Diane Birdwell
Diane Birdwell

Excuse me, we are not Macy's. We are a profession, not a job. You don't become a teacher to pay off loans. That is so offensive to real, professionally trained teachers like me. We never said we were entitled to anything but respect, decent working conditions and support from the community so we can educate the kids.

Besides, I planned ahead. I lived cheaply and graduated without one dollar of debt. THAT is not entitement, that is maturity.

Diane Birdwell
Diane Birdwell

Then tell your fellow teachers to send the  flyers to kids and cut the announcements they send down to the office.... Boycott it for a week, leaving it to the admin team to make all the announcements... See what the time used up is then...

DISD Teacher
DISD Teacher

DISD is a major jobs factory for everyone but teachers.You  should see the org chart.  I believe the off-campus org chart is over 300 PAGES.

DISD spends more of our tax dollars on non-teachers than you can even imagine.

Diane's point that we teachers are forced give our DISD kids so many tests to create jobs for off-campus adults is, sadly, the truth.

disdmom
disdmom

Amen and amen.

The key to successful college graduation:

Choose a university you can afford.

Choose a geographically practical university.

Study something that has a career path, certification, or high demand.

Live within or below your means during and after college.

My husband and I as well as our THREE college students (and two more in high school) have followed and are following this plan. It works.

Another note: the proposed calendar plans all are flawed. Number five looks the most feasible.

Diane Birdwell
Diane Birdwell

Why, I will. Thank you for the enlightening comment. Geesh.

Diane Birdwell
Diane Birdwell

Whoa. No, sorry. I was raised that you respected people automatically, especially people in authority--cops, priests, teachers---as a kid, I mean.

Parents now teach their kids to "stand up for themselves," which translates into, "Yell at the teacher and threaten her."

And finally, I have earmed respect. I earn it every frickin' day when I teach in DISD.

RTGolden
RTGolden

Not any disagreement with you, except on one small point.  Respect is not an entitlement, it is to be earned.  Even professionally trained, PhD wielding educators are not entitled to respect, rather they must earn it by the results of their efforts, just like the rest of us.

Squee
Squee

Get over yourself.

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