I'm putting my letters to the school board members in the mail today. If you are interested in getting names and addresses of our school board representatives let me know. I'm also happy to send you what I wrote and the talking points I used to point out why year-round calendar benefits our kids. I just focused on the calendar itself and not the benefits of intersession, which of course, is huge, and you could write about forever.
Things you could include in the letter:
-Our kids have less time over the summer to forget what we taught them. We don't have to spend the first month of school completely reteaching everything.
-Our kids don't have the entire summer to be away from English speakers, academic vocabulary, and school-related activities.
-Our families can travel during our breaks to go back to their countries instead of leaving during the academic year.
-We have more time to reflect on certain kids during our intersession breaks. It makes us better teachers and reduced our stress level.
-Our families are very stressed right now with the economy. Being away from school the entire summer would put our kids in unhealthy situations at home.
-We have to get everyone to pass the SOLs by 2014. Since this is statistically impossible we are currently doing pretty well making AYP. We have to work magic, and our calendar is helping us do that. The full summer break could really hurt our children's academic retention, which would impact test scores. (Ok, if you write about this maybe don't mention the statistically impossible part... forgive my bitterness).
Anything else?? Anything you disagree with?
The other schools have parents writing letters for their concerns, but so few of our parents even know what the county is currently discussing. They don't have the resources to be heard, but we do. Write! Write! Write!