Cut breaks, add time to summer, panel votes
Panel OKs more time for summer schooling
STORY SUMMARY »
A longer summer vacation and shorter spring and winter breaks appear likely for public school students in the 2009-2010 school year.
Members of the Board of Education Committee on Regular Education K-12 reached a unanimous vote Tuesday to alter schools' breaks from three weeks in the winter and two weeks in the spring to two weeks in the winter and one week in the spring. The fall break would remain one week.
The change proposed by Superintendent Pat Hamamoto would give students more time for summer school.
It also would add two instructional weeks in the spring semester.
Members of the full Board of Education are expected to vote on the proposal in July or August.
FULL STORY »
Public school students might have a longer summer vacation and shorter spring and winter breaks for the 2009-2010 school year.
Members of the Board of Education Committee on Regular Education K-12 voted to change school breaks in the 2009-2010 modified school calendar.
1-3-2: A week in the fall, three weeks in the winter and two weeks in the spring
1-2-1: A week in the fall, two weeks in the winter and a week in the spring
A unanimous vote was reached Tuesday among members of the Board of Education Committee on Regular Education K-12 to change school breaks in the modified school calendar from a week in the fall, three weeks in the winter and two weeks in the spring to a week in the fall, two weeks in the winter and a week in the spring. The full Board of Education is expected to make a vote on the proposed new school calendar in July or August.
The change was proposed by Superintendent Pat Hamamoto to support more opportunities for student learning. The change would allow summer programs to be extended to eight weeks from six weeks. The change in the spring semester would provide at least 6 percent more learning opportunities for students to prepare for tests such as the Hawaii State Assessment, Hamamoto said. For high school students, the proposed change would enable them to prepare for advanced placement, which is used for college credit and grade-point calculation.
Hamamoto said she was taken aback by the 5,600 or so middle and high school students who are enrolled in summer credit recovery programs due to a lack of a passing grade in required courses during the school year.
Officials plan to focus on boosting learning opportunities during the longer summer. "By adding two more weeks in the summer, we do know we will have extended time in which we can bring more summer programs for both enrichment and credit recovery," Hamamoto said.
Members of the Committee on Regular Education are expected to have another meeting to look at why students in the credit recovery programs failed their required courses and how schools can "beef up" credit recovery programs so students can meet the required number of credits for graduation.
With the proposed new schedule, Maggie Cox, chairwoman of the Committee on Regular Education, hopes that not as many students would need credit recovery and be at risk of not graduating. "We have to come out with different strategies so they come up and graduate," she said.
"The main message is the new calendar is being proposed to try to address student achievement and improve student achievement," Cox added.