While April 1st is most commonly known as April Fools Day, this used to be New Year’s Day way back in the day. When the calendar was changed to celebrate the new year on January 1st, people who wished others a Happy New Year on April 1 were called April Fools.
So today, rather than focusing on an educational issue or the news, since there is already enough news and a the time that we’re living in seems like an alternate reality, let’s look at that new year idea on April 1. It’s not such a bad idea.
Start the school year on April 1. Schools can prep for opening in March on the first day of Spring with in service days for teachers, and start the year for students on April 1, and go through December 15. That’s about 36 weeks. 4 quarters of 12 weeks, with testing to be done December 16 through the 22 (with allowances for the weekends). Going to school in the summer? Most schools have air conditioning, which may be less costly to run than heating bills in the winter. There would be minimal snow days, or cancellations because of inclement weather, causing parents to call sitters or make arrangements for the children since the school won’t be caring for them that day.
What about those summer vacations? Really? Do you really have to ask that question today? Do you really want to go to Florida in the summer when it’s 110 degrees and stand in line at one of the theme parks there while sweat rolls down your face? Or, would it be nice to go in February or the beginning of March when the temperatures are comfortable, and a nice break from the blizzard slamming into the mid-Atlantic states? And today with distance learning FINALLY engaging students in this country (and catching teachers and school leader off guard), who would have thought that a test of distance learning on a snow day would become the norm a few weeks later?
If we’re going to change education, let’s really change it. Kids could even go out and play at recess.