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Your Take: Should Districts Be Allowed to Customize the School Year?

A bill before the General Assembly would allow some school districts to create their own school calendars. Is this a good idea?

The state of Connecticut requires that children in the public school system in grades kindergarten through 12 attend school for 180 days. No more, no less.

In recent years, with natural disasters like Tropical Storm Irene, Hurricane Sandy, Snowtober and various blizzards, making that 180-day minimum (before the required last day of June 30) has sometimes proven to be challenge.

A bill in the General Assembly this year would lift that requirement off school districts that are determined to be 'high-performing.'

Introduced by Rep. J. Brendan Sharkey, 88th Dist., Rep. Joe Aresimowicz, 30th Dist., Sen. Donald E. Williams, 29th Dist. and Sen. Martin M. Looney, 11th Dist. as part of a larger bill called An Act Unleashing Innovation In Connecticut Schools, the measure would allow some districts to have classes six days a week, for example.           

The Hartford Courant thinks the idea is a good one and should be given the green light. The proposal came from the governor's Red Tape Task Force.

What do you think? How should the school calendar be constructed to best teach our children? Add your thoughts in the comments.

deb Kleckowski March 21, 2013 at 01:00 PM
There should absolutely be more "local" flexibility. The school year should be extended to include art, culture, science projects-more in depth opportunity for students to do projects and to take advantage of all the resources in their community. The 180 day law does not even make sense-half days are included and this year in Middletown the final day of Spring Break-April 19 is now a school day but, surprise not a full day! How does that make sense. Charter and Magnet schools have extended days--the public school year schedule needs to be up-dated. There can be alternate schools weeks on/off. Further, other business will emerge to meet the demands of students-perhaps camps will become more year-round, trips to Disney-not just during Spring Break. There are so many opportunities for students and staff if the school year was re-adjusted and updated.
Darrell Lucas March 21, 2013 at 03:37 PM
Aren't our schools scheduled on agriculture? Our countries work force isn't dedicated to that employment sector anymore. Shouldn't our entire school schedule be rewritten?
Tim Platt March 21, 2013 at 06:42 PM
There needs to be much more local control in our Soviet style public school system.
PJ Pes March 22, 2013 at 12:21 AM
If there is time to add an additional week or two into the schedule here or there, fine, but I don't believe any school system should go six days a week. When it a child supposed to be a child, or God forbid, spend time with their families? Some families do like to go away on weekends or make plans as families and the kids will be penalized if they miss school time if they do so.
vicki April 05, 2013 at 10:56 AM
School should be year round! There is no valid argument otherwise. Expense? Unions? Not as important as the future of our country. We will never catch up (yes we the USA have to catch up!!!) if we continue with business as usual!

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