Save California Summers is a non-profit, statewide coalition of parents, teachers and community members disappointed with the ever-earlier start to the school year.
Our mission is to educate consumers of the education system, taxpayers and other interested people about the negative impact the early-August school start date and nontraditional school calendars have on our students, teachers and families.
It is our hope that we can work with parents and school districts to help establish educationally and fiscally sound school calendars; a school calendar that allows more money to flow into teachers' salaries, classroom supplies and educational services ... without a heavier tax burden on California families.
Impact of Non-traditional Calendars on Students, Teachers and Families
A Short Summer Robs Children of Back to School Excitement
- Regardless of when the school year begins, our children receive the same number of instructional days. The only difference is the number of one-day holidays and piecemealed vacation days scheduled between the first and last day of school.
- Research shows that starting school in early-August does not aid academic success.
- Teachers report students are no longer ready for the new school year to begin when they return in early-August, as they once were when the school year began in September.
- Excitement is a large parent of education.
- It's hard to be excited as you sit in hot classrooms, are not able to go outside for recess and dread to the hot bus ride home.
- A study by the
Employment Policies Institute, May 1994, found that students who work
during the summer are more likely to obtain better jobs upon graduation.
- A full summer
of employment gives students the opportunity to apply what they have
learned in the classroom and gain valuable insight in choosing a career
- Summer employment
allows many students and teachers the opportunity to earn extra money
that their families rely on.
- Teachers are
expected to remain competitive and to continue updating their skills;
the shortened summer inhibits professional development.
- A shorter summer
for teachers means teachers can only attend one of the two summer
school sessions, so it often takes twice as long to earn advanced
- Many school
districts offer greater pay for teachers with advanced degrees. If
advanced degrees are beneficial enough to merit pay increases, shouldn’t
we ensure teachers have time to achieve advanced degrees?
- A September
2004 report, published in the journal Education Policy Analysis Archives
found that students of teachers certified by the National Board for
Professional Teaching Standards saw greater test-score gains, on average,
than did those of teachers without certification. The study was conducted
by Arizona State University researchers.
- College and University
systems often enroll teachers from many different school districts.
When no uniform school calendar is in place, it is often difficult,
if not impossible, to create a college or university calendar that
allows teachers from all districts to maximize summer learning.
- Starting school early creates numerous breaks during the school year forcing parents to find childcare at non-traditional times. These small breaks often force parents to pay higher prices for care than during the summer months.
- Communities usually support educational learning opportunities during summer months not during a "day off" twice a month.
- A one-day holiday
means students who would not be left unsupervised during the summer
are more likely to be left “home alone.”
- The laws governing education in most states are extensive.
- Providing uniformity in school start dates in no way minimizes the work of the school board or the school community. The district would still be responsible for setting yearly divisions, semesters or trimesters, assigning holidays and teacher workdays.
parents are normally granted their long-term block of visitation during
the summer months. When we take time away from children's summers,
in many instances, we are reducing quality time with their non-custodial
parents are normally unable to make up this lost time in the summer
during piecemeal vacations offered during the school year.
Educational excellence is expected from our California schools. As parents and community members, we expect nothing less. Our dedicated teachers work hard every day to provide our students with the best education possible with limited resources. School administrators work hard to meet state and federal deadlines and balance the budget. School board members volunteer countless hours to our school systems weekly. We owe it to our children to explore the benefits of a traditional school calendar, with a school start date no earlier than September 1st.