Sunday, April 15, 2012

On district closures and the lost of early dismissal...

Ideally I should update every week but somehow during the break I got behind and now I have actually have been back for three weeks and haven't talked about school.  Perhaps getting back into the rhythm was a little hard after a holiday away...

It's nice having two weeks as a March break in that it allows you more time if you do want to get away, and I certainly enjoyed my vacation to Florida, but I can assure you that most of the kids at my school were happy to be back in school.  None of them went on very exotic holidays.  They missed their friends and a place that for them is their real community centre.  It seems logical to close schools that have low populations to save money but just as it was long ago, the school is often the heart of a community especially in diverse communities. 

The school district made the school year shorter to save money.  In my school's case we used to have early dismissal on Wednesdays.  This was an opportunity to get planning done when you felt fresher, meet with colleagues to do planning, visit another school, perhaps book an appointment etc.  I am not sure I would have made it through my first year back in the classroom without those Wednesday afternoons.   To have these early afternoons we started earlier in the morning and went a bit later in the afternoon.  Most of us thought it was worth it.  Often there were activities at the school for students put on by outside agencies or it allowed time to do extra coaching etc.  Not all schools had these as it had to be approved by the school community.  Our staff really enjoyed them and it really helped keep you from burning out.

I have adjusted to the new schedule and it's nice not to start until 9:00 but I loved my Wednesday afternoons!  I also liked longer lunch hours-now we only have 45 minutes.  I used to enjoy having more time to plan, mark or have a basketball practice or a meeting at lunch time.  

The picture is of one of the lovely cherry trees near our school.

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