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'Change school calendar,' Stanford lecturer says
Original post made
on May 5, 2011
Palo Alto schools will "see the benefit" if they change their academic calendar to end the first semester before the December break, a Stanford University researcher on student stress told an audience at Gunn High School Wednesday night.
Read the full story here Web Link
posted Thursday, May 5, 2011, 11:32 AM
Posted by My frustrated 2 cents
a resident of Greater Miranda
on May 6, 2011 at 5:37 am
We can't "reverse the culture" of a family, and if a family pressures the kids, there is nothing to do about it.
We can't "reverse the culture" of aiming to get into extremely competitive universities. We CAN explain to kids that much of being accepted into Universities boils down to areas they can't control concerning "diverisity", such as gender, color, background in life etc. The kid need to understand this, and accept the roll of dice in their lives.
They also need to understand that there is more than one great university for them, and the best one is likely NOT the "Ivy league or equivalent" one. They need to know that so much of "Ivy League" is hype, and return for the tuition dollar is poor compared to many, many universities. It is a rare kid who is aiming for a PhD in something from a prestigious university...ok, fine, that may be the kid who needs the prestigious undergraduate program. The rest? Hardly...
So, getting alongside all the above, what ARE the areas a School District can control? Calendar. Limiting the culture of busy work assignments, especially in the honor and AP classes. Informational asssemblies re: time management, stress management. Options other than "everyone has to go to college or they are a failure" thinking ( which, as much as I love Skelly, this "everyone has to go to college" attitude is NOT helpful to some kids who really and truly will never be able to handle any college).
So, get to it! Change the calendar. Let kids rest. Give them a REAL break after the 1st semester, I don't care when it is, whether at Winter break or in January..whatever!! Just do it! Let them recharge for 2 weeks with nothing over their heads! These guys, ( a lot of them anyway) haul their behinds with little sleep, little down time, for 5 months..good grief, just give them a rest! Do it for a year, and see what we think!
Change the times if you want. I don't care. I think it is silly, given that whether we start them at 8 or at 9, they will stay up as late as they can...they will just shift to even later. Oh well. But, heck, if you really want to, go ahead. It will make it rough for those with after school sports/clubs/activities to finish that, gt home for homework and dinner, but I don't care. Just try it! If if fails, so what? Do it for a year and see what happens.
It isn't like the apocolypse if we try something and we don't like it!
We act like we are so inflexible, we simply CAN'T try something different from what we are used to... what are we teaching the kids about life? Roll with it, adapt, experiment, enjoy the ride, and if we don't like the ride we're on, ok, we'll find another one. Big deal!
Just my 2 cents.
Oh, and get rid of silly work for honors and AP kids. Ok, the classes not in Honors or AP, fine..cut out magazine articles...build projects out of papier mache...etc. I get that, the kids in regular classes perhaps need to keep working at this level ( and i know for a fact many still do). But, for goodness sakes, especially at the college level AP classes, kids at that level do NOT need busy work!