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A Balanced School Calendar

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1 A Balanced School Calendar
Calendar Reform A Balanced School Calendar December 4, 2014 MEMSPA Conference Traverse City, MI

2 Welcome & Story Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

3 Chocolate Personality Inventory
Milk Chocolate Krackel Mr. Goodbar Dark Chocolate

4 Chocolate Personality Inventory
Milk Chocolate...  All-American, loves baseball. Mom, and apple pie  A cheerleader for your program  Level-headed, good PR person, great fundraiser  Kind, thoughtful, always remembers birthdays  Playful, nurturing, helps others to shine  Dependable, loyal  Others turn to you for help

5 Chocolate Personality Inventory
Krackel….  Creative, optimistic, always sees the glass as half full  Messy (desk/classroom) but organized  A hands-on person  A little off-beat, funny, friendly, outgoing  Always willing to help  Likes the "krackel" or surprises in life  Prefers situations that allow for flexibility, growth, and change

6 Chocolate Personality Inventory
Mr. Goodbar...  Analytical, logical, gathers data before giving an opinion  Plays the devil's advocate, sees all the possibilities, and what ifs  Procrastinator, hates deadlines  Likes to be the expert but in your own time  Prefers structure, rules for everyone to follow, hates surprises

7 Chocolate Personality Inventory
Special Dark...  Patient, thoughtful, individualist, problem solver  Works well with difficult people  Insightful, reflective, good grant writers  Little patience with incompetence  Sets high standards for self and others  Dependable, resourceful, loyal

8 Introduction David Hornak – Horizon Elementary, Holt Public Schools
Kindra Padgett—Horizon Elementary, Holt Public Schools (517)

9 Objectives To discuss calendar reform
To discuss what a balanced calendar is and how it works, including advantages and disadvantages To check the data To discuss considerations for Belding Area Schools To discuss a scan of current schools/districts transitioning in To answer any questions about a working balance calendar experience

10 History Although the traditional school calendar is the dominant calendar used by districts nationwide, the idea of balancing the school calendar dates back to the 1840s where schools in the big eastern cities were open school days (Glines, 2009; Silva, 2007). It was the 20 year period between , when many communities reduced the school year to 180 school days as summers were used at that point for additional school opportunities to teach English to immigrant families (Glines, 2009; Silva, 2007).

11 History, Continued Summer in the 1800s became an opportunity for children to help on the family farm. The agrarian calendar is believed to have roots that date back to farming and ranching (Weiss & Brown, 2003) Quote from the 2005 follow-up to the Prisoner of Time report: Learning in America is a prisoner of time. For the past 150 years, American public schools have held time constant and let learning vary. The rule, only rarely voiced, is simple: learn what you can in the time we make available. It should surprise no on that some bright, hard-working students do reasonably well. Everyone else, from typical students to the dropout, runs into trouble (p.1).

12 Fast Fact Gallery Walk Read the Room

13 Quote Analysis “ They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.” Think, Pair, Share Process as a large group

14 Article Jigsaw/SWOT Analysis
The Case Against Summer Vacation TIME Magazine, Thursday, July 22, 2010 By David Von Drehle

15 Calendar Reform American children spend the least amount time in the classroom when compared to other countries. Currently, the school year length in the States is 180 days. Advocates are pushing further toward a 200-day school year, which would align with Thailand, Scotland and the Netherlands, and leave us a close second with Israel, South Korea and Japan, who leads with a 243-day school year. The balanced school calendar does not require more days, but rather reducing the number of days off each summer.

16 What is a Year Round Calendar?
Students at year-round calendar schools attend class the same number of days and receive the same instruction driven by the same curricula as students at traditional calendar schools. A year-round school modifies the traditional 180-day school calendar to keep the learning process continuous and to maximize the use of school facilities. Students have periodic, shorter breaks rather than one long summer break.

17 Traditional Calendar Strengths Summer Tourism
Professional Development Opportunities Extended Learning Programs for Students Many buildings do not have AC Summer Employment Extra Curricular Scheduling

18 What Does a Balanced Calendar Look Like?
YRE students attend the same number of days = 180 Most popular is the plan Several short vacations all through the year, rather than one three-month summer break

19 The Single Track Model Single-track modified calendar plans are designed to conform closely to the natural learning patterns of students (Ballinger & Kneese, 2006). In there were 1,944 single track schools working on a balanced calendar (Ballinger & Kneese, 2006).

20 Balanced Calendar Strengths Continuity of Instruction= Quality
Planning and Preparation Intersession for Remediation & Enrichment Reduces Summer Learning Loss (Summer Slide) Improvement in Teacher Attitudes Less Teacher Burnout

21 Benefits of Balanced Calendar
Facilitating educational improvements. Teachers in year-round programs generally believe that the quality of instruction is better than in traditional programs due to the continuity of instruction (Quinlan, George, & Emmett, 1987). Teachers also believe that the YRE schedule has a positive impact on the way in which they think about and plan for instruction (Shields & Oberg, 2000). The organization of the instructional time allows them to be reflective practitioners because they are able to plan at regular intervals during the academic year when it is needed the most (Shields & Oberg, 2000). They find it more efficient and productive to plan curriculum for shorter blocks of time and feel that the year-round calendar provides ample time segments for instruction.

22 Benefits of Balanced Calendar
In schools offering intersession programs during the vacation periods, teachers credit the intersession with enhancing and supplementing the regular curriculum (Quinlan, George, & Emmett, 1987). In addition, intersession courses provide opportunities for teacher experimentation with different curriculum and grade levels (Zykowski et at., 1991). Another advantage for teachers is that less review time is necessary at the beginning of each instructional block, as research has demonstrated that the shorter vacation periods reduce summer learning loss (Cooper, et al., 1996).

23 Benefits of Balanced Calendar
Researchers claim that this is especially true for the low socio-economic status (SES) level and high-risk students (Kneese & Knight, 1995; Gandara & Fish, 1994; Quinlan, George, & Emmett, 1987). This may be due to accessibility of immediate re-mediation in YRE (Curry, Washington & Zyskowski, 1997).

24 Benefits of Balanced Calendar
Enhancing the climate of professionalism. Of the studies in which teacher attitudes have been explicitly examined, the research results clearly indicate that the majority of teachers in year-round schools favor the year-round calendar and believe it substantially enhances the professional environment (Worthen & Zsiray, 1994; Shields & Oberg, 2000). The year-round calendar can enhance teacher professionalism in several ways. Due to the frequency of breaks on the year-round calendar, teachers exhibit improved morale and motivation, and less burnout and stress (North Carolina Insight, 1997; Minnesota, 1999; Quinlan, George, & Emmett, 1987).

25 Benefits of Balanced Calendar
It has been reported that teachers were absent considerably less on YRE schedules (Brekke, 1984) and research by Quinlan, George, and Emmett (1987) substantiated the findings that YRE decreased teacher absences considerably (Worthen & Zsiray, 1994).



28 Theoretical Framework
Faucet Theory: When children are in school, all children learn at the same rate. When on a recess (vacation), the middle class/upper class child maintains levels and the lower class child loses knowledge.

29 To what extent does summer intermission impact the retention of knowledge?
The amount of knowledge that is lost during a summer break by children is paramount (Cooper, Charlton, Valentine, & Muhlenbruck, 2000). The extent of summer learning loss becomes more dramatic as students get older (Cooper, 2003). Smith (2012) indicated that two-thirds of the achievement gap in 9th grade can be attributed to the amount of required time it takes a teacher to reteach and review what was learned prior to the summer intermission. All children attending school on the traditional calendar, according to Cooper et al., (2000) lose an average of 2.6 months of math skills during the summer break annually.

30 Recent Unpublished Data
Seeking to better understand the relationship between the balanced school Calendar and summer learning loss, I asked the following research questions: To what extent does the length of summer recess impact student mathematical learning retention? Pre-test/Post-test comparison quasi-experimental quantitative research design 2) Is there a relationship between student mathematical learning retention and at-risk status of students?

31 The unpublished multiple regression results

32 Unpublished T-test results
Mean Test Results School Pre-test Mean Post-test Mean Mean Difference (Spring) (Fall) Traditional Balanced Overall

33 TIMSS Report, 2011 (Math) Country Number of Instructional Days
Type of Calendar TIMMS 4th grade Math Average Score Singapore 200 Balanced 606 Republic of Korea 220 605 Hong Kong 195 602 Chinese Taipei (Taiwan) 190 591 Japan 243 585 United States 180 Traditional 541

34 Impacting Behaviors Focused and engaged children tend to behave better
Less time teaching behavior expectations annually allows for more instructional time on current curriculum Brief behavior expectation review following each break

35 Considerations Determine the needs of your environment
Work with the community to ensure students will not be left without intersession opportunities, child care, summer activities Work with your educational partners to ensure all children accessing programming outside of the district will not be impacted Schools may need to offer Professional Development and community meetings

36 Considerations Does the Balanced School Calendar have a positive impact on the children that score within the bottom 30% on the MEAP? Faucet Theory Can the Balanced School Calendar be implemented district wide? Yes, it is most efficient for districts to transition all schools (Michigan examples: Flint Beecher & Baldwin)

37 Considerations How would our students that attend the career center manage two calendars? Independent studies, project based learning, cooperative learning, attend activities on both calendars With strong partnerships with the ISD, how would we honor IEPs? Offer make-up sessions in September and May Pay an ISD employee to service balanced calendar children Allow families to seek their own services to be paid by the district

38 Considerations Does the balanced school calendar require specific adjustments to employee contracts? No, the entire Holt district has one contract, however, the contract has two different calendars guiding work time. If my district were to adopt the balanced school calendar, what kind of enrollment numbers do you forecast? Waiting list at many grade levels Increase in overall numbers Better fit with current lifestyles and workloads

39 Another Option: Multi-Track Plan
A Multi-track plan is implemented to provide additional capacity within already-existing space to accommodate over enrollment of students, maximize the efficient use of current resources, solve one or more administrative or logistical problems, or a variation of the three (Ballinger & Kneese, 2006). During the school year, there were 934 schools operating on the Multi-track plan (Ballinger & Kneese, 2006).

40 Collaboration and Professional Development

41 School/Districts Transitioning to the Balanced School Calendar in 2015-16
Muskegon Heights Public School Academy System Ypsilanti Community Schools GEE Edmonson Academy Port Huron Area School District Madison District Public Schools (Oakland County) Baldwin Community Schools Madison School District (Lenawee County) Bay County Public School Academy Niles Community Schools School District of the City of Pontiac

42 Other Resources Video:
Balancing the School Calendar: Perspective from the public and stakeholders (Kneese & Ballinger) School Calendar Reform: Learning in all Seasons (Ballinger & Kneese) Year Round Schools (Ruggiero) Year-Round Education: Change and Choice for Schools and Teachers (Haser & Nasser)

43 Questions/Networking

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