By Jayla Toliver –
School breaks are meant to provide time for students and staff to spend time with their loved ones. But over the years, breaks have been cut down in size due to factors such as; finals, the required length of each semester, and the dates we start and finish school.
If you’ve taken a look at the school calendar lately, you’ll notice that Winter Break has been cut down to 9 days instead of 10 due to finals. Having one day taken away from a break may not seem like too big of a deal, but some families aren’t satisfied with this abrupt change.
“It’s one of those things where for some people that was much better and for some people that was horrible, and that’s the hard part of [ making ] the calendar,” said John Neal, the Assistant to the Superintendent for Governmental Relations and General Administration.
Naturally, any changes made to anything that affects a large group of people is going to get some positive feedback and some criticism. Behind the scenes there’s a lot more that goes into the making of the school calendar than what’s apparent. The calendar committee, which is made up of 13 members including teachers, administrators, parents, and school board members do lots of research before building the calendar.
“We put out a survey to parents. They have Option A or Option B and even some of our widest margins, like 70% of families, want one thing, and 30% of families surveyed wants the other. That means that at least 30% of the families aren’t getting the calendar that they’d prefer,”Neal said.
In addition to conducting surveys, the committee tries to consider many factors that could affect them producing a calendar that can please all including student and staff and their families’ schedules.
“So even when it seems very obvious from a statistical standpoint of what might be the better way to go, it still impacts lots of families,” Neal said. “There’s probably not a calendar that can be developed the would make 100% of people happy. So every year unfortunately we [ do ] make some people unhappy,” he added.
Building the school calendar and scheduling break time is a much harder job than it seems, and trying to please an entire city is impossible. Although the calendar is const