Halloran: I favor a balanced year calendar. Research has shown greater information retention with shorter breaks. A more consistent teaching approach can be offered. However, I am cognizant of the burden on working families that such a calendar could bring. Such a decision requires cooperation between the schools, its parents, staff and the community as a whole.
Henderson: Northeast School has had great success over the years; however, this is a result of many factors, not just the school calendar. The decision regarding if all schools should go on this schedule would need to be based on a thorough survey of the parents and the community. The district had one other balanced calendar elementary school from 1997-98 through the 2004-05 school year, but it returned to the traditional calendar in the fall of 2005. I do not have enough information at this time to believe that moving all schools to a balanced calendar is the right direction.
Hilleary: I personally believe a balanced calendar provides a better learning environment for students. It balances the time more evenly and provides a break between quarters and curriculum. The short breaks in teaching allow the students and teachers a rest. Some studies have shown the shorter breaks lend toward less “re-teaching” of topics that have been forgotten over a longer summer break. There are also inherent problems with schedules, sporting events with other schools and air conditioned schools for the earlier start time in July. Though I think it’s a good idea, I believe it’s not practical at this time.
Roth: I believe the balanced calendar should be seriously considered in order to avoid having to spend so much time in review every fall after a three-month summer vacation. This time could be better used to expand knowledge. The other advantage to this type of calendar is that many children get bored over lengthy vacations and would enjoy shorter more frequent breaks.