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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

Bill would require later school start

Friday, January 29, 2010

INDIANAPOLIS -- Members of the Senate Committee on Education voted 8-1 Wednesday to approve legislation, authored by Senators Mike Delph (R-Carmel) and Scott Schneider (R-Indianapolis), that could extend Hoosier students' summer vacations by requiring Indiana schools to start after Labor Day. 

"There are a lot of things to consider when going that route," South Putnam Superintendent Bruce Bernhardt said about the bill.

Senate Bill 150 would move the annual school start date to after Labor Day starting with the 2012 school year. Currently, Putnam County schools begin up to 15 days before Labor Day.

The legislation would maintain Indiana's 180-day requirement of instructional days and provide local school districts with flexibility in deciding a school end date in June.

"I think the quality of instruction is greater in August than it would be in June," Bernhardt said.

While the later start date would allow Indiana families more time to plan for summer activities, it could also disturb the Indiana High School Athletic Association's sports schedule -- football in particular.

There are normally two scheduled football games in August plus a scrimmage game. Bernhardt said revenue might be affected by the change in the school start date.

"I'm just speculating," he said. "But if school is not in session the attendance (at the football games) might be effected."

However, school districts could save money through utility costs, allow teachers to have more time for professional development and could help grow Indiana's economy, Schneider said.

"Many families in my district have contacted me frustrated and wondering why schools in our state continue to move start dates earlier each year," Schneider said. "This legislation has an added benefit to economic development and tourism by extending the summer season, as many who testified in favor of the bill pointed out."

Dozens of proponents in support of the bill held a rally last week at the statehouse wearing T-shirts stating, "School is cool... but not in August."

According to the National Conference of State Legislators, 13 states now have laws regulating school start dates, including several that require districts to start after Labor Day.

"Learning does not start when a child enters the classroom, nor should it end when a child leaves the classroom," Delph said. "I believe lawmakers have an opportunity to promote lifelong learning by providing Hoosier family members more time with one another."

SB 150 now moves to the full Senate for further consideration.

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If I had a vote wait till after labor day, funny how SP it worried about attendence at a football game.

-- Posted by senior'08 on Fri, Jan 29, 2010, at 7:08 AM

How would a later start date allow families more time together? The would still get the same amount of time off! I would rather take a family vacation early on rather than later when everything and everyplace is over crowded. And make up snow days? more than 2, and what will they do? A later start date would mean that kids could possibily be going to the middle of June if there are any snow days beyond the two holidays they take away already to make them up. Then families will really complain about the lack of time together, beacuse the kids will still be in school in the middle of June! Come on, how many of the families really take a vacation over Labor Day weekend?

-- Posted by spmom on Fri, Jan 29, 2010, at 7:33 AM

FOOTBALL ATTENDANCE!!!!!! Give me a break! Change the schedule in August and hire a new Principal that will give 1st. concern to Education and Not Sports!!! Education First!

-- Posted by macvrod on Fri, Jan 29, 2010, at 7:34 AM

It is normally much warmer in August than June average temps! Maybe some savings in utility costs! Adjustment will just happen same amount of days attending.

-- Posted by macvrod on Fri, Jan 29, 2010, at 7:39 AM

There are alot of things to consider far more important than Football. May and June are cooler months so the Air Conditioning bills would reduce. Schools with non-air conditions rooms and sections would be tolerable instead of students sitting in 90 degree rooms. Years back the State Fair was later in the year and that allowed the County Fairs to be spread out over the summer. In fact Putnam County was a top ranked fair till they started bunching up there fairs to complete the 4H showes and have time to get the winners to the earlier State Fair which was moved up to accomadate the earlier school start dates. The earlier school date are also the reason the Theme Parks shut down in mid-summer, and this cost much needed jobs. School should be out by mid June and go back the first day after labor day period.

-- Posted by Trying hard on Fri, Jan 29, 2010, at 7:42 AM

First of all, Mr. Bernhardt is the superintendent not the principal. The early start date would result in a later exit that is a given. However, another option would be shorter/less breaks during the school year if you still plan to be out by the end of May. Keep in mind, presently 180 days are required for students to attend. The federal Gov't is wanting schools to increase the time in the classroom by at least 20 days - something to think about. As an educator I find that many students start shutting down, espeically seniors, after spring break, so the idea of going into the middle of June seems rather challenging. But this is a mind set that can be changed with support from home. No matter when the start of school is a student that is invovled in a sucessful sport or band program will be required to attend practices/conditioning during the summer months. The only plus I currently see for our community in starting after Labor Day would be for those families who participate in events at the State Fair.

Something to think about in regards to Mr. Bernhardt's comments on football: Could it be possible that the reporter may have focussed on the football topic and ignored other comments that Mr. Bernhardt may have made? We should never take everything stated by the press -written or media -for face value. Keep in mind there is always two sides to every story.

-- Posted by Abraham on Fri, Jan 29, 2010, at 9:17 AM

Instead taking 2 wks off for the Christmas holiday, take a few days and get the kids back in school. I am sure kids would rather be sitting in class in the middle of winter than June and Ausust. Just a thought.

-- Posted by salonbabes on Fri, Jan 29, 2010, at 10:28 AM

I've said all along that the local schools need to go ahead and go with year-round school. It's so hard for them to come back after having the whole summer off anyway and then get back to where they left off. Assuming, we aren't ready to start with that, I see nothing wrong with a later start date. However, I also see no way that will help families have more time together because they will still have the same amount of time in school... 180 days. Everyone is worried about what's right for this and that but remember, it's EDUCATION. Not about having more time with families, or sports programs, or vacations... Your child needs education and these are the schools to provide it. They may be young but their education will probably determine their lifetime. Let's not worry about whether they are in school in mid-June or you have to reschedule your family vacation....

-- Posted by bannerstuff on Fri, Jan 29, 2010, at 10:31 AM

school shud be mandatory year round

-- Posted by 5catsondrugs on Fri, Jan 29, 2010, at 12:23 PM

I am in favor of year-round school also!! Let's talk:)

-- Posted by frankie07 on Fri, Jan 29, 2010, at 1:41 PM

Please write this proposal so that school begins the day after labor day AND ends the Friday before Memorial day. Make the difference up by holding classes from 8:15 to 3:30 across the board. (Some schools now don't begin classes until as late as 8:45 and many stop at or before 3:00 PM). Give these children back a REAL summer vacation, without sacrificing their currently scheduled time off. With all of the emphasis on this 180 day schedule, etc. in the past ten years - how many parents AND educators actually think we are graduating students who are better educated than the graduating class of say - 1970? Not me.

-- Posted by countyboy on Fri, Jan 29, 2010, at 1:50 PM

We definitely need to start school AFTER Labor Day and end right before Memorial Day. It just makes sense. Isn't that the way we used to do it in the good old days?

The sports schedule should be the LEAST of our worries.

-- Posted by just a local on Fri, Jan 29, 2010, at 2:22 PM

I oppose the change if it means the school would be forced to cut holiday time...

In the area my kids attend they simply get Labor day off, 1 Friday in October, the Thursday and Friday out for Thanksgiving, 8-10 "school" days for Christmas, Monday-Friday for Spring Break. Then a possible 4 day weekend in Feb. and Apr., though these have been canceled the last three years they have been offered (so technically we have never had these breaks as it is because they are used as snow days if necessary).

If they want to sell this will benefit families, then ALL family dynamics need to be looked at.

What about Long Distance Parents that already have limited time?

My Step-son's mother does already get more Summer time then the Indiana Parenting Times allow so that is a plus, however for those who don't? and if you cut into the holiday time, like one mentioned above Christmas, when would his mom get to see him... or these other long distance parents?

I simply think the reasons are simply geared to save money solely!!!

-- Posted by Aleeann on Fri, Jan 29, 2010, at 2:54 PM

5catsondrugs.....I disagree with you. Are you a parent? Children should not have to attend classes year round....that is too much....and yes, before you ask, I am a parent, and I also think that starting in September would be great.When I was younger we always started after Labor Day. This could be a good thing.

-- Posted by churchmouse on Fri, Jan 29, 2010, at 3:24 PM

When I went to school (in the 1970's through 80's) we always started school after Labor Day and would get out 2nd week of June. The seniors were allowed to graduate the weekend before the others were finished with the school year. I like that schedule better for many reasons. Schools today take too many days off for different reasons. I am still in favor of year round school. I don't think kids need 3 months out in the summer. Most of them don't have anything to do and end up in trouble. They sure don't keep up on their learning skills (at least not the majority of them). Also the winter break has become quite long, don't you think! It should be 8 days max I feel, especially if the weather cooperates. It is the teachers/schools responsibility to bring the kids back to reality after Spring Break so they can get back on track. Don't you think 2 months is a long time (mid-March to end of May) for them to have a hard time after Spring Break?!?! This was designed to give a small break before finals not lax time the rest of the school year.

-- Posted by Confused citizen on Fri, Jan 29, 2010, at 3:34 PM

salonbabes - I agree with you - come back earlier during Christmas break. Why do we need 16 days off??

I would be so excited if my daughter went to school after labor day :) that is when 'summer' is over anyways and it starts getting colder. who wants to be in school when it is nice outside?

WE DON'T need all year round school! where is the family time there?? How do you plan vacations when your kids are going 2 school year round? Kids need breaks!

Mr. Bruce Bernhardt quit worrying about Athletics! Its acedemics that we should be worried about! Thats Just like SPHS...sports before smarts!

-- Posted by luv2bmom2001 on Fri, Jan 29, 2010, at 3:36 PM

If our state constitution is changed to include property tax caps, then we will cease to have school as we know it. Our schools are cash starved due to the poor state economy. Everyone wants to save money and still provide a good education for our children, but modern schools are serving many many more needy children than ever before and it is expensive whether we like it or not. Parents expect a hot lunch and breakfast. They expect door to door bus service. They expect sports and extra curricular activities. But no one expects to pay for it.

-- Posted by sneakers on Fri, Jan 29, 2010, at 5:08 PM

Mr.Bernhardt should have stuck with teaching music and left the surerintendent job for someone who cares more about education than sports and selling tickets at games. explain to me how a kid can learn better in Aug. than they can in June , that makes no sense to me what so ever ,but 90% of the stuff South Putnam does makes no sense .

-- Posted by Mr. O on Fri, Jan 29, 2010, at 8:07 PM

According to the DOE website SPHS spent $8.6 million for the fiscal year of 2009 with a total enrollment of 1258 students (K-12). Cloverdale spent $10.8 million with only about 60 more students. SPHS standardized test scores for english and math averaged at 75.8% passing. Cloverdale 67.7%. Is more money really what is needed. I personally believe these scores (for what they are worth) should be alot better. I know what I pay in property taxes a year and I expect my children to score alot better than 75%. But I think we do have to give South Putnam some credit for doing a better job with less money.

-- Posted by worrieddaddy on Fri, Jan 29, 2010, at 8:23 PM

Why is south put so worried about their football team instead of their childrens education? Maybe the Superintendent should have thought about what he was saying before he put his foot in his mouth. Whats more important to him football or education? My child is not school age yet but I may rethink sending her to South Putnam. Maybe I should check into which school has a better view on education!

-- Posted by familygirl on Sat, Jan 30, 2010, at 10:52 AM

Year round school!

Kids still get breaks the same amount of breaks people. It's just planned differently. There are school districts in other states that do this and there are several ways to break it up. Such as school for a month and then a week off...or school for 6 weeks and then 2 weeks off or something along those lines. Anyway, you know when the breaks are and can plan accordingly. You could go on vacations on the off season (cheaper!) OR during the peak times (warmer). Kids won't have 3 months off at once...but think about it. This could be good for several sides.

parents: are usually glad anyway to get kids back in school after the LONG summer vacation, no more fussy kids suffering from cabin fever.

teachers: wont have to spend so much time "reteaching" material at the beginning of the year or kids getting "burned out" at the end of the year.

kids: could enjoy all the seasons with more, shorter breaks.

I remember being in school and wishing I could go to a year round school like my cousins because it seemed they were always getting time off (although theoretically they werent) and got to go on vacation more than my one time during the summer. Plus, I would get so tired of going to school everyday and i just wanted a break every now and then.

-- Posted by indtonyc on Sat, Jan 30, 2010, at 2:26 PM

When I was in school out of state, we started the day after Labor Day and did not have a "Spring Break". We had a 3 or 4 day weekend. No one "shut down" for the remainder of the school year and that worked well.

-- Posted by bannerreader on Sat, Jan 30, 2010, at 10:15 PM

I have talked to parents of kids that go year round. Both kids and parents love it. I think has hard up as the schools systems are we all need to keep an open mind and consider all options.

-- Posted by mad-mom on Sun, Jan 31, 2010, at 12:46 PM

I think there are many options out there but instead of being worried about when our children start school how about we focus on the amount that we all have to pay for the books and fees Indiana is one of the very few states that still charge for fees i know that Ky only charges 25 dollars for fees and when we lived in FL there was no charge at all! Plus the amount that people have to pay for the extra curricular activities that there child would like to participate in.. These things are all so more important than when are children start school so I think the senate need to look at the amount we spend in books alone!

-- Posted by cougarmom94 on Sun, Jan 31, 2010, at 9:38 PM

Boy I sure wish I could talk my employer into letting me off in May and letting me come back to work after labor day. School is supposed to teach children and prepare them for the work force. From what I have seen, a whole lot of the youth of today graduate with unrealistic expectations and very biased attitudes.

-- Posted by exhoosier2 on Mon, Feb 1, 2010, at 10:59 AM

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