Just between us

Let’s try this again: Is the school year too short?

Earlier this week, I posted a blog asking the question: Shouldn’t the schools be open this week?

The suggestion was that perhaps our regular school year is too short. It’s a topic that deserves a little public discussion, I believe. And given the timing – that the schools are still on their two-week Christmas break – I felt it was timely.

Some parents agreed. Some disagreed. Fair enough.

But then some parents got snarky. Working parents, they claimed accusingly, should not rely on schools to be their daycare. And, then teachers chimed in, some exposing a definite chip on their shoulders, defending their profession, saying the time off was needed to plan, prepare and recharge their batteries. All very interesting, but beside the point.

The notion of increasing the number of days students spend in the classroom is an idea that is gaining traction.

Here in Quebec, students spend 180 days a year in school. It is the same number as in the U.S. Yet, south of the border, President Barack Obama has already proposed extending the school year, by either lengthening the school day or shortening the summer vacation period.

Advocates of this plan in the U.S. suggest the school year should be at least 200 days long. This would bring it in line with countries like Scotland, Thailand and the Netherlands.

In other countries, like Israel, South Korea and Japan, the school year is even longer, with students logging 216, 220 and 243 days of class time, respectively.

So, let me ask the question again: Is the school year too short?

I look forward to reading your comments.

For those of you who would like to read the comments on the earlier blog, click here.

Brenda O’Farrell

39 comments

  1. By R. St. Pierre

    The school year needs to be used wisely.  I am not in favor of extending the school year.  For the most part, this is the only time in life that you have the opportunity to have extended vacation.  Several studies in the US ( I live in the US ) show that a longer school year does not help studends.  In what is called a “balanced school calendar” in the US, most schools that have adopted the approach have seen lower test scores and increased truancy.  I want my kids to have summers off.  It helps them get involved in other things, including summer sports, playing with friends, and all kinds of activities.  It is up to the parents to ensure their kids are not getting involved with nasty habits, including to much video game time.

    Life will be stressful enough for kids once they get into the work force.  Why make their lives more stressful by lengthening the school year?  I agree with school teachers that advocate needing the time off for recharging their batteries.  I’m not a teacher, but whenever I go to kids school, I’m glad once I leave the building.  I couldn’t handle that everyday throughout the school year.  As for other countries implementing longer school years, I’ll submit that those countries are no further ahead than us when it comes to productivity and advancement.  Countries like Japan, South Korea, and India have had longer school years forever and I don’t see them as better than Canada or the US for having done so.  Not to mention the cost of a longer school year, and the difficulty for kids to learn in buildings when they are very hot.  Extending the school year means kids will be in buildings when the temperature outside is in the 30s Celsius (90s F).  Older buildings don’t have air conditioning.  Even with our current school year the way it is, I’ve had to bring a personal portable AC into my children’s classroom to cool it off.  That will not help their learing, and only irritate the process altogether.

  2. By Anonymous

    As is often the case with these questions, the answers are not simple. One size does not fit all. Students should have access to different programs, ones that may be better suited to their interests and needs. There are limits to the amount of time that can be spent in a day sitting in a classroom and absorbing bits of information. If the school day were to be lengthened, it would be to have different types of learning added – for example music, art, physical activity. Research shows links between these subjects and improved performance in core subjects. Second language learning improves academic performance aacross the board.

    If we are to propose changes to the education that our children receive, please do so based on some proof, not some poorly formed opinion. For example, until this year Finland has been rated as the best education system according to PISA scores – an important component of their system is outdoor play. They also  teach two languages and a dialect in theior schools. What is it that makes them do better – these factors or others?

    In research it is important to look at all the variables and try to see which are the cause of significant differences.

     

     

  3. By Teacher Judy

    In response to your comment about your child’s homework, there should be no need for you to be on the internet trying to figure out how to help your child with it.  Homework is a tool used by teachers to reinforce concepts covered in class.  If your child comes home with homework that they don’t understand, you should instruct them to spend more time paying attention in class.

  4. By Anonymous

    I don’t think I said that the Japanese were crazy, I believe I said that they were crazy about education.  Whether or not they rebuilt their country after a devastating series of bombings does not relate in any way, shape or form to this blog, and the comparison is immaterial.  

    Yeesh…..

  5. I find it highly unbelievable that anyone would suggest that the school year in Quebec is too short! We can still do well with even less! It does not take a genius to figure out that the quantity of school days does not equal higher quality or yield more education. Increasing the school year “to bring us in line with other countries” is a ridiculous “keeping-up-with-the-Jones” policy that claims one size fits all and that we are subjected to cultural and political whims of other jurisdictions. 

    Our education system is far from perfect. Yet our citizens can compete with the likes of Boeing, Airbus, Lockheed-Martin, Bank of America, etc.   We can do it on a four-day work week.  We can work smarter and not necessarily longer.  Quebec has powerful aerospace, finance, technology and manufacturing sectors.  Our institutions produce professionals and entrepreneurs for those sectors and more. We do not need to compare test scores when we see that Quebec is cranking out the planes, trains, buses, software, film productions, energy, world-class consulting, banking resources, tourism and culture amid an environment of oppressive taxes.

    If other countries want to have a 300+ day school year confined 12 hours long, 6 days a week with 35 people competing furiously stuffed in a windowless room with no life, good luck to them.  They will have to deal with suicides and people who spend most of their waking hours away from their family.  School should not be oppressive and childhood should not be suppressed.  Our citizens here want to live life. 

    A good education is balanced and full of inspiration.  It should show us how to succeed in our social, economic and career pursuits.  It should put us out in the world and learn in the field, which it does not yet do.  A good education is tailored to the needs and aspirations of an individual citizen, which many teachers at the elementary, secondary and CEGEP sectors in Quebec are already trying to do.  It should not depend solely on an allotted amount of time administered to a mass of people.

    To answer the question of longer school days:  If you as an individual need to do something well, learn as long as it takes, and keep learning to improve.

  6. By Anonymous

    My question to you is “WHY????” do you think that the school year is too short?  The teachers are right by responding that they have to get their curriculum ready so that they can offer the best programs to the children. When we went to school in the 1970′s we enjoyed having the summer off; that’s what it is there for: to help children live their lives and have fun when the summer is here. So quit whinning about it, you are  obviously desperate in finding something to write about….As it is, the children are working MUCH longer in the evenings on homework then they did way back then so dont tamper with something that is already stressful.

     

  7. By Anonymous

    As a retired teacher, I do not feel this should be the point where we should direct our energies-even though it is a valid question-I think it should be to try to bring much needed change in our educational programs and system first–it is about reorganizing and amalgamating school boards so that monies could be directed into schools  and classrooms. It is about smaller class sizes and bringing back approaches that will entice students to become competitive, reach their potential and above all teach them to make healthy choices and become responsible for themselves. It is about bringing the classroom as close to the real world that they will be entering. It is  not to give them a false sense that they can do what they want any way they want but still receive good grades because if not parents are going to get involved and point fingers at the teachers.It is to instill within the child that if their best is to be a worker at walmart and they are happy -that is okay.It is about bringing back the class averages, tests and quizzes and numbers instead of letters or numbers based on whether a child has acquired  competencies or not. -meaningless. It is about bringing back classes for special needs students with teachers who have qualifications in how to bring the best out of these students instead of downloading all sorts of students with major issues on regular teachers and regular students because the system wants a classroom to be a representation of our society. All is well and good but how can anyone expect true education to take place with what these scenarios bring on a daily basis. We must be fair and just to the teachers and we must be fair and just to parents and students above all. The key is for parents to get their priorities straight and not waste time on focusing on things that are fringes. Remember, your child is one of many and the teacher is all of 1. My opinion.Good luck.

  8. By Anonymous

    One comment said not to compare us with Japan , they are crazy it said ! They have 243 days of school and the school day ends at 17:00 , not 14:30…do the math ! In 1945 , 2 atomic bombs destroyed a good part of Japan and they rebuilt to the extent that they inundated the world with their products : Hitachi , Honda , Yamaha , Sony , and the list is endless ! We did not have bombs over our heads . We have the highest dropout rate , 27 % of the addult population is functionnally illiterate and we produce welfare cases . Their dropout rate is 0.03 % because in their tradition , it is dishonourable to be a schoo; dropoyt . Someone said yes but look at their suicide rate ; I did and a UN report said that we have more teenage suicide here in Quebec than in Japan ! Depression , obesity ?

  9. By Anonymous

    I think school days could be used more wisely instead of making the days/ year longer.  I believe the kids are spending too much time on social activities then actual academics.  The ETSB intiated a laptop program several years ago in their curriculum but neglected to block internet usage to actual social networks such as Facebook and MSN.  Teachers are spending more time monitoring their students on this then actually focused on teaching now.  Although I believe it’s great initiative and the students are becoming more engineered for today’s technology, it’s leaving them academically challenged in some key areas.  As far as, parents using the school system for a daycare, as a parent, I pay supervision fees during school hours both at the elementary level and high school level, as well as, use the after school daycare program.  So, in actual fact, school has become a babysitting service in one sense but this portion is self-funded by the parents.  I don’t think this is the issue we are blogging about.  Have you looked at your child’s homework lately?  It’s not easy and the kids are scraping by.  It’s challenging to say the least and I often have to scope the internet to figure out how to help my child with their homework because I have no idea what they are talking about.  More time could be spent in the classroom.

  10. By Anonymous

    I have had the chance to live in Europe and North Africa where both the school day is longer and the level of education higher.

    I find it truly sad that my daughter had better writing skills in Kindergarten in Morocco than she has in Grade 6 in Canada.

    It is not normal that children graduate high school unable to do basic math and read and write correctly.

    In my grandmother`s day the times tables were mastered by grade 3 and now in grade 7 they are still being learnt.

    Quality Public Education has to be a priority for all.

     

     

  11. By Anonymous

    Honestly……. How would you know that the child is not paying attention.  Maybe the child actually does not understand.  Maybe the teacher did not explain the material properly.  You are aware that not everyone is meant to be in the profession that they are in.  What does your silly comment have to do with the blog. 

  12. Before we try to convince unions, government and everyone else to lengthen the school year, how about we just start by using the time we have effectively. Schedule exams the day before the Christmas break instead of parties…..

  13. By Anonymous

     

    The Quebec School Year length and duration have long been a topic of debate
    around the holiday table in our family. 

    With friends and family members who have chosen to work as teachers
    and support staff in the school system, I have spent countless hours listening
    to how tough it is to work in a school these days.  I however do not sympathize
    and tell my friends and family that while I understand their need to vent,
    their cries fall on deaf ears.

    Schools should be run like a business.  Those teachers whose students
    overwhelmingly succeed year after year should be compensated financially for
    the wonderful work that they do.  Those teachers whose students do not
    perform – well, what would happen to you if you didn’t perform in your private
    sector job?   Could this maybe be the rational
    for the success of the private school system?

    Many teachers I have come across complain that they are overworked and
    underpaid.  To this I always reply “Were
    you unaware of the salary scale, benefits, and working conditions involved with
    teaching while studying in university?  If
    so unpleasant, why didn’t you change career paths?”  All of them entered the profession with full
    knowledge of the ups and downs that came along with the job. 

    Speaking of ‘ups’ –  how many people
    working in the private sector have nine or more weeks of vacation a year?  How many of us have continuing education paid
    for us by our employers (PED days)?  How
    many of us have a pension?  The benefits –
    and let’s be frank, there are many, many, many benefits – outweigh the
    downsides for those working in the school system. 

    Should the school year be longer? 
    Yes.  We no longer have the
    majority of the population employed in agriculture – which was the catalyst for
    having the schools close during the summer. 
    I propose however, that the days should be proportionately shorter in
    order to allow our little ones the time they need afterschool to just be kids
    and play.  Anyone coming home at 4pm in
    the Winter knows that the possibility for outdoor play is severely dampened by
    the dark.

    I know that what I propose is hard to stomach
    for those school system employees who are planning their 6 week long summer holidays
    abroad, but after all, aren’t they most concerned with the well-being, health
    and learning of our children? 

     

  14. By Anonymous

    if it is too short or not, but I do wish it would start after Labour Day again.  It would also be good to have it more in sync with the university and CEGEP holidays.  Post secondary students could be employed providing care and/or activities for children for the whole summer – until Labour Day and over the semester break.  Increasing opportunities for students to be self-sufficient would decreases financial need from other sources while providing services for parents who need/want it.

    Why are the start times for the different levels of education staggered and the breaks different? 

  15. Not to mention the completely wasted week leading up to the Christmas break spent watching movies in many classes at the elementary level.  And don’t even get me started on how June is a similar complete write-off since teachers don’t want to bother teaching new material, claiming the kids are already too excited before summer vacation and won’t learn or retain it anyway!  Just make proper use of the time the kids are in class, and yes, you know what you signed up for when becoming a teacher.  We expect time in class to be productive.  Maybe then the amount of homework could be REDUCED!

  16. By Anonymous

    Education is not a business. When it is run like one, the students suffer. If we were to implement your model proposed teachers would  merely teach for the tests and for the exams. Not only that, but they would be much more likely to “increase”/”curve” marks to ensure student success to perserve their job. Sadly, even the best of teachers have a certain percentage of students fail, but to indicate that it would be 100% the teachers fault that a student failed is ludicrous.

     

    Everytime a teacher/student/school issue comes up, the issue of summer vacation comes up.

     

    I truly believe that all jobs should allow their employees more time off. The school year is not too short, but rather people in the private sector are not granted enough time off and are not seen as human beings. Look at some places in Europe where people are granted several weeks of vacation.

     

    Family time, down time and time to pursue other interests should be allowed by all. Not just by teachers. Hopefully, someone will realize that the school model should be followed and not render schools and teachers in the same misery as the private sector.

  17. My kids are quite accomplished in many areas such as piano.  My extended family and myself work hard to ensure that they are.  I have no desire for my kids to be stuck in school during the summer because other people are looking for daycare or because kids are too lazy to crack open a book.   I believe in summer school if needed. I do not believe in making everybody pay because so-called parents do not make sure that their kids buckle down and do their work.  My kids again, do not have cell phones. They only use pc for homework. And They play piano for their “off time”.  They never use dirty words and are nice and well brought up.  Are you going to see it is gentic? I do not think so. I think it is what I and my family put into them. They do not watch TV.  They do not know who is a top rock star.  They do know their three r’s. They also speak more than just two languages.  People have to parent their children and not just become parents.  And I do not need extra schoo days. I wish there were less school days.  A lot of school days are wasted on reviewing things, that my kids get the first time.  Maybe if the other kids would not be playing video games and texting and watching TV and going to the mall they would get it the first time too? Maybe if other kids would not spend their time play sports for too many hours, instead of doing their home work they would get better grades.  I am so sick of punish the hard workers for the lazy.  No, we must teach the lazy to become hardworkers.  Maybe the gov’t should stop giving out money to kids with failing grades in school?  Maybe then the parents would force their children to behave like children and not kids on vacation for the whole childhoods. 

  18. By Anonymous

    Your comments are absolutely ridiculous.  Maybe your children should get their noses out of their books and start LIVING as children.  They may turn against you one day and decide to experience their childhood in their adult life.

    My children play sports, play music, they have their gadgets, they do homework, they speak more than 2 languages and beleive it ot not, they also do very well in school. 

    I believe that the quality of time spent in the classroom is more important than extending school hours.  It is up to the teachers in the classroom to make sure that it is achieved.  It is up to the educators to keep children stimulated and interested.  Some children are easier than others, some children grasp things better than others, and some teachers are better than others.  There is no ideal profession, otherwise we’d all become teachers or bankers.  I also believe the gov’t should step in an implement some sort of evaluation process for the teachers.  Good evaluation = raise, bad evaluation = out.  Those that perform are compensated and those that don’t are not. 

    There are way too many ped days and the xmas break was way too long.  What for ?  The LBPSB was out from Dec 23 to Jan 10 ……….that’s 17 days.  I guess the executives did not want to go back in the middle of the week.            

     

  19. By Anonymous

    I did not realize how much west islanders love to whine untill i left…………are school hours to long to short????, should we block one family from attending one school but ship them off 20 kms away to school? for gods sakes get over it…….grow up!!!!!!!…..the LBPSB is a joke any ways!!!!    since moving to the states, my children are in school from 8.am to 3:45 4 days a week and 8 a.m to 2:45 on fridays……(if your in football/basket ball your luckey to be home by midnight) from august 21 to may 21.

     

  20. The school year is way long enough.  The problem is that many children do not want to learn. They want to play video games. They want to text each other on their cell phones and the list goes on.  Why should a student that gets straight A’s have to give up his or her summer vacation because they are many kids that will not crack open a book?  In my family the kids get A’s. We do not need a longer school year.  We would like a shorter school year.  The kids do not have cell phones and only use the computer for their homework.  Why punish the hard workers for the lazy?  If a student need more time because he or she has a learning disability etc. that should be optional.  That should be between the parents and their children’s teachers.  And it should not be a babysitting service either. I want my money to go to my kids so they can have a great summer for working so hard during the school year.  I do not want to pay my tax dollars to babysit other people’s children.  If other people’s children need help, I will be the first to pay more taxes. I will be the last one to pay for babysitting other people’s children.  My kids never had a baby sitter in their life.  Why do I have pay for other kids to have them? 

  21. It certainly is too short and also injected with too many ped days.  Our education system is failing.  Quebec has the highest drop out rate.  There is no time for important subjects lke physical education, geography and history.

    We should look at the system in the UK.  This not about extended daycare.  More time equals more education and perparation for adult life.

  22. By Anonymous

    Thank you for pointing out that this is NOT about “extended daycare”.  Refreshing and on topic !!  :o )  Hopefully this thread will stay this way.

  23. By Anonymous

    I find kids these days are much more surley and manner lacking and that they are getting more education from the web than the classroom. I attribute this NOT to the lenth of the school year but the home situations.I also stronly believe kids can do with more RULES,RESTRICTIONS,CURFUES and most importantly PARENTING.

  24. By Anonymous

    Maybe you could stay focused on the subject “The Length of the School Year” as opposed to trying to find fault with parents and the home situations (as opposed to using a weak link of internet vs schooling = bad manners).

    Of course, you never mention if you are a parent or a teacher.  Just a quick lashing out was what you posted. 

    Nobody requested your opinion on manners or surley attitude.  I, for one, find YOU lack manners by coming here and bashing parents and students on a topic that is not related.  Guess someone didn’t learn their manners very well either !  ;)

     

  25. By L Leonard

    There is absolutely NO NEED to call someone a “d*****” REGARDLESS of the play on words.

    Vulgar, immature and has been flagged as offensive.

     

  26. By Anonymous

    I do agree with you.  You were responding to my post, and I meant that there is simply no need to lash out by using capital words and criticizing students and parents.   People are quick to criticize, but not say if they are a parent or a teacher.  This leads to assumptions, which takes the thread into a downward sprial.  Is it a parent that went through this ?  Is it a teacher who is frusturated ?  There is indeed a link .. it helps understand the basis for the critical post.  I am a parent and stand by my posts.  I also flexible and can understand both sides as I have teachers in my family.

    Essentially, the students are responsible for the work they hand in.  Parents are too oversee the work – but sometimes the parents themselves are NOT aware of the work to be done.  This is more so in high school of course.  And there is so much you can control at that age – unless you tie your teenager to his desk and chair at home. 

    I agree with the majority of the comments at not extending the school year, etc .. however I do not believe that thrashing out on this thread is appropriate – or necessary.

    THAT is my beef.  I believe things can be discussed by ADULTS here .. not by yelling obscenities or criticizing all the time.  And if there is the need to criticize, be respectful at least.   I admit I was apalled by the post above calling someone the “D” word.  Wow.   And then we accuse children of being rude ?

  27. By Anonymous

    Firstly – I did NOT write the first post about the CURFUES.  I wrote the one under the correction of spelling and was relating it to the ONE ABOUT CURFUES (bad spelling).

    Maybe you should read first.  Or mind your business.  My post was related to the person yelling about parents .. not about someone posting about spelling. 

    I agreed 100% with the spelling correction – not that it is any of your business. 

  28. By Anonymous

    Firstly – you may need to learn how to read a thread.

    The person YOU are criticizing was NOT criticizing the “learn how to spell curfew” post.  The person was respond to the post above that where the original mistake was made.

    In a thread – when you press REPLY – it responds to THAT post.  The post you are bashing was in direct link with the one where the person mispelt CURFUE.  NOT the post correcting it.  Had it been that post, as you say, it would have fallen under that post but with an INDENT indicating so.

    I believe you need to stop assuming and learn how to read a thread.  An apology wouldn’t be a bad thing either.  But you probably won’t do that because you are wrong.

    The person you bashed did not deserve your post.  The person who can’t spell – did.

  29. These subjects are related.  At one time, I was a teacher.  Now I am just a parent and that does not matter.  What matters is the following: My kids are doing great and want their summer vacation. They do not need 18 more days of school because other kids cannot hack it.  Now, this is how it is all related. Why can’t the other kids hack it? Will extending the school days make them hack it?  I know when you give students a month to do a project that should take a total of eight hours.  The day before it is due, they ask for an extension. Then you hear them say among themselves that they didn’t even start it yet.

  30. By Anonymous

    Maybe if you weren’t to quick to assume things and maybe if you listened to your teachers more than your parents then you would realize maybe he’s neither a parent or a teacher. Or that in no way he had just bashed students, parents or teachers. He bashed your bad spelling, get over it. I for one think you have bad manners for jumping to such conclusions without backing up your arguments. And I am pretty sure the author requested his opinion. So why don’t you get off your conservative high horse and maybe take up some english courses at Cartier.

    I think that the school year should not be lengthened due to that the high school kids are already stressed at the mid and end of the year with exams. However, I do think that both the private and public school systems need to get more organized when it comes educating the young mind. Especially private schools that are run like buisnesses such as Kuper Academy.

  31. By Anonymous

    If you look, not towards other countries, but toward simply other provinces.  In Ontario the school year is longer, starts just after labour day, but finishes after the 24th of June and has significantly less ped days (193 school days in 2009).

  32. By Anonymous

    I’ll say it again.  No, I don’t think it’s too short.  I DO think it should be reorganized though, so that they have more time for physical activity and less for sitting on their butts in front of the TV or a game console.

    I’m pretty happy with the way in which my child is instructed at Forest Hill Senior Elementary in St-Lazare, and I’d like to think that most of the teachers are still passionate about teaching kids and doing it properly.  As a side-note however, I can attest to the fact that a lot of the kids I see in public are “gadget-crazy” and ill-mannered as well.  I see both sides of the argument as posted in your previous blog; teachers are burning out because parents aren’t there to support, and parents can’t be there to support because job security is just too fragile these days and the general lot of us feel obliged to have both parents working in case one of us gets the toss.  We all need to pay the bills, right?  I guess the “snarkyness” arose because both sides feel very, very intensely about the issue.  Too bad about the rudeness, but we’re all human.

    I’m not sure that extending the school year is the way to go, and I wouldn’t use Japan as an example at all.  They’re pretty crazy about education over there; some kids attend school year around (if we include prep schools and tutors) just so they can be assured a spot in the school of their choice when the time comes.  There must be a lot of kid burn out related to that.

     

    Just my two cents again!

  33. By Anonymous

    Before we get replies from those thinking we could get some free babysiting this way, let’s consider the annual MELS Budget for youth education (kindergarten, elementary and high school)  is about 8 billion dollars per year. 80% of that is teacher salaries. To increase the time spent teaching by a mere 10% or 18 days would incur additiona teacher costs per year of $640 Million dollars.  If it is your belief that doing so would better the educational experience then prove to me that this  would be the best way to spend 640 Million dollars per year, each year, every year. I would rather believe that using such resources for special needs children, both academically delayed and for those that are gifted as well, and giving public schools tools ( laws) that would allow them to deal with discipline problems in the classrooom that is a huge obstacle in enabling teachers to do their jobs today.

  34. As a past student, I thought the school year (especially HS) was too long. It was boring and redundant. I think the bigger issue comes with upgrading the material in the classes to keep students interested and involved. They still use books from the 70-80-90′s, they don’t reflect current events, which in all honesty, is pretty lame for a student attending school in 2011. Not only that, I think every school should upgrade their technology to allow students to read their materials on a device, like say the Kindle. I look at students today who must have 50 lbs of books in their bags. They will be all crippled with back pain by 30. The whole education program is failing and I don’t believe extending or shortening the school days is the issue at hand

  35. By Working Mom

    I wouldn’t say that the school year is too short. Sept to end of June is fine with me. However, the school days are too short. 8am to 2:20 dismissal isn’t enough hours of education. We’re already complaining about a shortage of physical education hours – why not extend the school day from 8am to 4pm and have a decent amount of gym time? Then the majority of kids would only spend 1-2 hrs at the afterschool daycare service instead of 3-4 hours as is the current situation where they sit around literally doing nothing but chit-chatting with their friends or playing on the computers.

  36. I agree with those who say the year isn’t too short but lacks organization and priority. I also firmly agree that we have far too many ped days. If those ped days were used for professional development that could be relevant I would say, perhaps it’s for a reason. But I know for a fact that many (most?) teachers aren’t getting ANY training on recognizing bullying or cyberbullying and this is our single most non-academic concern. Those who are bullied are not performing academically, so it doesn’t matter how long the year is, it would be lost on kids who are too worried about going home after school or going out for lunch or recess.

    Teachers need to embrace technology as part of life, and I believe education here in Quebec is not reflecting that mindset. And yes, I speak from a qualified point of view – I am doing my Masters degree in Educational Technology and have two teens in high school.

    School year length is irrelevant if the curriculum is outdated and our kids are not getting teachers who are seeing the bigger picture.

  37. By Jennifer B

    I would love to see the school year lengthened so that children actually do all their work in the classroom with their teachers instead of bringing the work home. What they do now is the equivalent of an adult working a full day and then bringing home the paperwork to finish up. Let them relax and play at home instead of extending their schoolwork into home hours too. Less ped days and extending the school year to the end of June would work.

     

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