Meanwhile, our once local paper has the real breaking news from the BOE

Greenwich Time reports that the school board is sticking with its decision to cut a day from winter break. From what I hear, the paper has fired still more of its few remaining reporters and moved to still smaller quarters. News will be pretty much reported from Hartford. It’s been suggested that an on line site offering real reportage would do well, and I’d consider doing that if I weren’t so lazy had the time. Any reporters out there?


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23 responses to “Meanwhile, our once local paper has the real breaking news from the BOE

  1. Grr mom

    So the full story is Greenwich enjoyed a long, early February break the week before Presidents’ Day so it was a week plus the Monday holiday. Traveling the week before is much preferred- less crowded, easier to take time off from work, etc.
    now they want to make it a 4 day weekend instead of the 10 day break we have.
    They did it legally but very quietly – most families had no idea they were considering such a big change. It basically eliminates the break.

  2. Anon

    Isn’t there already a Greenwich Patch online? The upside is they are interested in making a name for the franchise Patch. The downside is They are only as good as the editor of that particular town.

  3. Grr Mom

    3 years of “catastrophic” weather incidents that closed schools and ate up the “snow days” included in the calendar. No one wants to play bad guy and cancel days off April break but there are only so many days you can add in June. Canceling February break gets them more wiggle room in June to add days.
    If we have no snow days, school lets out on the ridiculously early day of June 8.

    • Cos Cobber

      Thanks. That sounds pretty darn ridiculous and pretty much guaranties no snow days for the next three years.

    • FRF

      I smell summer camp conspiracy
      That’s 2 extra weeks of camp, 500/week
      10000 kids or so…

  4. Greenwich parent

    I say keep the brats in school 365 days a year

  5. Utterly ridiculous

    Only in Greenwich…..
    Do 500 or so people sign a petition protesting taking away the Feb. vacation. Who signed it? Names please!

  6. NewsJunkie

    Here’s another earth-shattering story about student unrest at GHS:

    • CatoRenasci

      Administrators who are spending time on nonsense like that are not spending their time working on ensuring the academic excellence which is the only reason we hire them and pay them so damned much.

      Put the kiddies in uniforms from kindergarten all the way through high school – perhaps some nice coveralls/jump suits for the equality-obsessed – and be done with it.

      They can express themselves at home, on weekends, and all summer long.

  7. Well, my youngest of four children graduates from GHS this year, so I don’t have a horse in this race anymore. However, I have decided over the two decades that my kids have attended our public schools that our school vacation schedule is not optimal. I think a one or two week vacation in March, as the private schools have, would be a far better school vacation solution. It falls smack dab in the middle of the school year between Christmas break and the end of the school year, so the stop and start loss of focus and having to come up to speed and re-learn some lessons in both February and April would be avoided and the students would have longer contiguous periods of learning. It avoids the expensive crunch-time of both Presidents Day and Easter. It would also work for families with older children in college or with kids split between private and public schools. A one week vacation (as well as eliminating teacher in-service days!) would lend itself to an earlier end of year date. Far from being ”ridiculously early”, June 8 is approximately when many schools around the country end their school year. My observations of those hot and muggy mid and end of June days are that students and teachers are fairly checked out and not a great deal of learning takes place. And yes, an earlier end of school date would enhance many opportunities for kids and families; camp, family vacations, summer academic and other activities, as well as employment and internship opportunities for high school students. Families with two working parents would not have to scramble as much lining up childcare for either February or April (or both). While we are discussing school dates, it would also be far better to start the school year after the Labor Day weekend, to avoid the choppy start-and-stop beginning of the academic year that we currently adhere to. I think that a real three month summer would benefit students, families and teachers.

    • Libertarian Advocate

      Well over a decade ago, Stamford tried that scheduling. It lasted exactly one year and the topic has never been raised again.

    • Anonymous

      UK children end school first week in mid July. A three month summer break just ensures that our children are falling behind better educated children in other parts of the world.

  8. NewsJunkie

    March is testing month for the public schools.

    • Grr Mom

      But testing won’t have to be in March in 2014-15. The new state tests have flexibility with scheduling.

      I disagree with Great Lakes about a long summer break helping two income households. Unless you are upper management/administration, many companies now limit how many vacations days you can use during the summer. I’m allowed one week off from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Its much easier for us to cover the February and April breaks (and have family time together) then it is during the summer.
      Camp typically only covers part of the summer. We usually have 1-2 weeks after school lets out before most camps start and then 1-2 weeks in August after camps end and school starts. We make it work with help from family but I know a lot of families that already are having trouble with summer scheduling (not to mention affording quality camp and programs). I can’t imagine paying for even another week of camp, much less two, because the BOE is afraid of parents and teachers who put non-refundable money down on an April vacation. April has always been listed as an option for extra snow day make ups but parents and teachers scream and threaten the second the Board mentions using a day from that break.

      Our schools have air conditioning and there is no reason that quality learning can not happen. If parents and teachers both support and practice that, learning will happen. Parents are worse then the kids in this area, constantly saying (in front of their kids) that the last few weeks are a waste and no one learns anything. With that attitude, of course not!

      • CatoRenasci

        Most of the country’s public schools indeed finish in early June. We wanted our kids to go to Interlochen Arts Camp, but school got out too later for them to start with everyone else in mid-June and the half-session programs starting later were not much of a solution. Many other arts camp programs begin in mid-June and are not the sort of thing for which one can show up a couple of weeks late.

        Logically, you’re right that there’s no reason quality learning can’t happen in June, but our experience was that most kids had mentally checked out by the end of the first week in June. It’s hard to keep your kids focused when all of their friends are mentally on vacation.

        That said, I think many families in Greenwich who can afford family vacations to the West or Europe for skiing, or the Caribbean/Florida for water sports and warmth find it easier to manage time off together in increments staggered around the year.

        • Anonymous

          Many other areas of the country (where I grew up in the South, for example) also don’t get the Jewish holidays off from school. There simply isn’t the population density of Jews that warrants the days off.

  9. Lets start up the Greenwich Online Gazette. Maybe we can get press creds and get in free to Yankee games, broadway shows, and booby bars.

  10. No vacation schedule is perfect for every family. Perhaps three month summer vacations are a non-starter, but I suspect many families would welcome one contiguous break. Does anyone know why Stamford bailed on the March vacation plan? Even if school had to start up again in mid to late August, I would have preferred that to my kids slogging through to the end of June. Cato is correct that most public schools nationwide finish their school years in early June. This allows them to take advantage of many summer programs that our kids cannot. Friends and family of ours around the country are always amazed when we tell them how late our school year runs! Somehow, an early June end date seems to work in the majority of locales, most of which are not as affluent as Greenwich. If our school year ended in early June, local institutions that offer low cost vacation camps would line up around that schedule, as they do the current ones. Its wonderful that Grr has family nearby to help with childcare but many people in Greenwich have moved here for job related reasons and live far from family and do not have that option. By the way, I may not be current on this, but when my kids were in the elementary schools not that long ago, most did not have air conditioning (except for the main office!). Our PTA had to solicit standing floor fans for each classroom one year when school ran very late and a heat wave descended upon the town. The district budget did not provide air conditioning for most schools in town, and PTAs had to raise enormous amounts of money in at least two elementary schools I know of to add air conditioning in increments to sections of their buildings over several years. Many colleges with older buildings do not have air conditioning either, particularly in the dorms, because their academic years generally end in May, before the summer heat arrives. Again, no one schedule is perfect, but the incredibly late end date of our school year is certainly not the norm nationwide.

    • Anonymous

      Three month vacations benefit teachers. Nobody else wins, it takes the school until the end of September to get back to where the kids were in May.

  11. Grr Mom

    Mid – late June is the norm in all of our surrounding school districts including Westchester. We would need a regional change to make it work since a lot of camps draw from the larger area and not just Greenwich for both campers and counselors. Teachers with kids also get a little upset when we drastically change our calendar compared to other school calendars because they often have kids who attend school where they live.

    I believe the majority of schools now have air conditioning in the classrooms thanks to both parent and district funding.

    Anecdotally – I have 2 friends in Texas with very different schedules. One lets out in late May and goes back in early August. My other friend lives in a more tourist oriented area and they let out a few weeks later and don’t go back until late August because the tourism industry depends on high school employees and pushes for a summer break that covers the peak tourism weeks.