Working parents need to give input immediately on proposed school calendar changes

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In this week’s paper, you will see a potential change in school district calendars for the 2022-2023 school year. The Colleton County School District, and its school board, are considering changing the current calendar model to give more and longer breaks to students and staff. The reason for this proposed change – no votes have been taken by the school board and no changes have yet been to the calendar – is to give teachers more time and to avoid teacher burnout.

While we can appreciate and understand the need to help support our teachers, why is this being discussed now? Is it because former planning periods have been changed, which have supposedly reduced the time that teachers have to plan during the week?

We do not want teachers to get burned out by teaching, yet there has to be a better way to support our teachers while also supporting our working parents. What are working parents supposed to do when their children are at home for two weeks at a time during intermittent times of the year?

Will the school district be offering its after-school program to students full-time during this break, so that parents can continue to work?

The second option being considered by school district leaders is to have students go back to school in July, after getting out of school in June. This is about six weeks of break time. If this is being considered, why not go to a full year-round school option, where parents can have a set schedule year-after-year and know what the school year will look like for the foreseeable future? Parents must work, plan for holidays, prepare for a summer break and summer vacation with their children, work around school and recreational sporting events and, yes, help their child learn, which is the entire reason for school.

We encourage parents to read this story carefully, and to talk about this at home. Give the school district your input on what is best for your child and your family. Take advantage of the survey being offered to you. Teachers, do the same. Speak and let your voice be heard.

There has to be a medium and a good balance for students learning, parents working and teachers being able to have a balanced schedule.

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