Comments about ‘Canyons students back in class Monday, despite federal holiday’

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Published: Friday, Dec. 30 2011 6:32 p.m. MST

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right_here
Richfield, UT

This is admittedly a departure from the point of the article, but as a full-time high school teacher for the past six years, I'm baffled by the statement that "it's really hard to teach kids when you have a four-day week."

That might be one of the most ridiculous things I've heard an administrator say, and we've all heard some gems. In fact, I have fewer qualms returning to school on a federal holiday than I do with that statement. I would love to hear the reasoning behind it, especially as explained by an administrator. Here's a story I'd like to read: "How many combined years of teaching can you find in a school district's offices?" Or, "How many combined years of teaching can you find in a high school's administration offices?"

I think the next time someone needs to be told why a 4-day week is unacceptable, I'd prefer something a bit more truthful, like, "It's really hard to teach kids when you're an administrator." Or even, "It's really hard to teach kids when you're a lousy teacher."

Monsieur le prof
Sandy, UT

I agree with right_here. If one is going to make a statement like that, one should back it up with statistics or some report. "According to _________, students who miss one day a week are liable to __________." On the other hand,I can now see the reasoning behind giving an entire week of vacation before Christmas.

Given that, I think everyone understands that scheduling is very difficult and it's impossible to please everyone. I always dreaded long vacation breaks around Christmas because it was like pulling teeth to get kids back in a learning mode during the next week. I think Jordan district did it right.

Steven S Jarvis
Orem, UT

Jordan and Canyons did the right thing starting school on Monday. I felt the article didn't even need to be written as this was a rather trivial choice.

Common Sense Czar
Sandy, UT

Canyons School District will be missing my 3 kids on Monday. They didn't seem to worry much about the integrity of their teaching time the week before Christmas. The high school my son attends in their HONORS Spanish class watched Kung Fu Panda. And the elementary schools could have shut down on December 1st for all intents and purposes.

We'll be celebrating New Year's Day as a family on Monday. Join us...just don't go to the same places we're going!!

Munk
Cottonwood Heights, UT

"It's really hard to teach kids when you have a four-day week." If that is the case then why do you have so many four day weeks in the school year? Your statement just tells me that the school administrator seems to be a bit out of touch with reality. The School year is short enough as it is. Federal Holiday or not; it's not going to hurt anyone to go back to school.

LoveLife
Riverton, UT

@Steven Jarvis:

Jordan School District, according to the calendar on their website, starts again on Tuesday, Jan. 3. We were in school through Friday Dec. 23.

eagle
Provo, UT

As a kid I grew up loving to watch the Rose Bowl (and even the parade) and all the football games etc. etc. I mean it is pretty easy to build a 180-day teaching schedule and NOT have to work January 2 like about everyone else on planet USA.

These are the dumb decisions those in education need to stop making. It's a state and federal holiday. Maybe sing that Sesame Street song, "one thing is not like the other..." and go from there. Common sense needs to exist, even in education, and this isn't it.

Howard Beal
Provo, UT

Alpine was out Friday December 16 and in school Tuesday Jan. 3. Maybe their District Administrators are just smarter than the ones at Canyon I guess...

carman
Wasatch Front, UT

Rather than holding school on a Federal holiday, how about focusing on things that will really improve student outcomes? A few ideas:

1) Don't employe so many young, inexperienced teachers, particularly in math and science. Pay highly skilled core subject matter teachers sufficiently so they don't jump to administrative roles or leave teaching just so they can support their families.

2) Increase focus and attention on 21st century skills such as core science, math, statistics, writing and reading. Utah is now BELOW AVERAGE in these key areas when demographics are taken into consideration.

3) Get rid of Utah's ridiculous "go it alone common core" for math. There are no materials available, classroom experiences are likely to range from mediocre to poor given the lack of materials and training, transferring into or out of the state will be a nightmare, out-of-state colleges will have no idea what to do with this curriculem, etc.

These are just a few things to try if you really want to improve education! All the focus on calendars and especially holding class on the New Year holiday is particularly unhelpful in comparison.

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