The ultimate goal of the Cobb County Board of Education should be to ensure that the students of Cobb County get the best education they can and in a manner that does not deter from their learning. As such I would like to offer my reasons for supporting the traditional calendar.
Continuity in education suffers under the balanced calendar. By the time the student gets into a rhythm, it is time for a break, thereby negatively impacting the learning process for the student. School is a place for teaching/educating, not for providing frequent breaks! Summer school and/or virtual learning opportunities are significantly reduced or otherwise no longer feasible. And the teacher’s ability to take additional coursework is significantly reduced or otherwise no longer feasible.
Other considerations are the increased costs (monetary and/or vacation time) for single parents and/or families with two working parents as a result of more breaks during the school year versus during the summer when there are scheduled programs available. It may increase the need for parents to take time off without pay.
There are increased costs for the school systems, running air conditioning during the hottest months of the year. Busses do not have air conditioning for students/drivers.
The balanced calendar creates a domino effect of reduced income for college/high school students who can earn money during the summer months by working at theme parks and/or summer camp organizations. The balanced calendar may force these organizations to close earlier and/or reduce operating hours as a result of reduced/lack of attendance — thereby reducing their operating income.
Under the balanced calendar, sports/athletic/band students will attend practice during the hottest months of the year and cut their summer even shorter. Practicing during the hottest months may cause an increase in health/safety issues for participating students.
The balanced calendar also diminishes the opportunity to participate in summer camps or other lengthier summer activities.
The balanced calendar that was tried a few years ago was very disruptive to the learning process for my children. Just when they were getting into the rhythm of the classes and actually learning it was time for a break. There was no continuity and caused more challenges than found under the traditional calendar.
The ultimate goal for Cobb schools should be to provide the best education possible for students rather than offer frequent breaks with a start date in early August. If teachers are in education to teach, then it shouldn’t be about frequent breaks but it should be about teaching so the students learn. Reducing the number of breaks will allow for a mid-August or later school start date.
I would ask that the Cobb School Board consider maintaining a traditional calendar commencing no earlier than mid-August for the sake of our children’s education and maintaining the level of academic success for which Cobb is known.