""Balanced School Schedule Information""

Balanced Schedule School
For St. William School in the
2016-17 School Year
Research and
“Recent education reports suggest
that policymakers and educators must
consider changing learning time
policies and programs. Indeed, it may
be time to seriously evaluate more
current and viable alternatives to
traditional school calendars, leaving
nothing off the table to improve the
achievement of an increasingly diverse
student population.” Silva Report
“Considering the history of America’s
traditional public school calendar, the
needs of students have certainly
changed since the late 19th and early
20th centuries, yet the educational
system continues to rely on a schedule
whose roots can be traced back to
about 150 years ago.” Education Policy
Brief: [2009]
Why we are looking at a Balanced
• Increased Rigor of the Common
Core/Archdiocesan curriculum…higher
learning expectations of all students
• Time for remediation throughout the
year…not just in the summer.
• No longer mainly an agrarian culture
• Less learning lost over long summer
• Family vacation time throughout year
(each season)
• Students will have more time to recharge (which may be increasingly
important with increased
• Seeing successful results in Central
Indiana, DesPlaines, and other areas using
this calendar
Farming v Service Industry
• When formal schooling was first
established, the school calendar fit
the needs of a particular
• When families became more
mobile, the calendar was
• The current 9-month calendar that
most schools operate on was
established when 85% of
Americans (and students) were
involved in agriculture, and when
climate control did not exist in
school buildings.
• In today’s United States, only 3% of
Americans are engaged in
agriculture and none of our school
families at St. William are farmers.
Long, Expensive Summers:
4-5 weeks for summer fun, activities
and camp
7-8 weeks of boredom, expense and
• We need to purchase only five
more air conditioners (which we
will be able to do this summer
with money from Market Day
proceeds) to have every
classroom climate controlled.
• What worked 150 years ago,
does not make sense in today’s
society where both parents work
away from the home and
children are left alone during
long summer breaks.
• Or, parents have to find
alternative care for their children
at a large expense to the family.
A fun, safe place to be!
• Research shows a correlation
(albeit slight) between a
Balanced Calendar and
improved test scores.
• All studies show a dramatic
increase in attendance
attributed to families having
more opportunities to plan
vacations during breaks and
students having a better
resistance to illness.
• Additional studies also show
a dramatic decrease in
discipline referrals for
reasons unbeknownst.
More Rigorous
Common Core Standards and
Archdiocesan Standards are
demanding more from our
and student-owned learning.
Less brain-drain = More time to
• Research studies revealed
that the drop-off in student
retention over long summer
breaks averaged a loss of:
• 2.6 months of grade-level
equivalency in Math,
• 2.0 months in Reading,
• when students follow
Traditional calendars
• in comparison to 1.0 and .8
months, respectively, within
Balanced Schedule models.
Obstacles to a Balanced
Schedule School:
-Just because something’s always been
done that way, doesn’t mean it should
continue to be done that way.
-Think about what is best for your
children and family life…
• Lack of research that shows
dramatic academic improvement
on student achievement
• Summer employment and
professional education time for
teachers would be impacted
• Summer sports schedules may
be impacted – though most
baseball leagues are over by July
4th in this area of Chicago
• Older children or neighborhood
friends may be on a different
schedule – though most vacation
times will overlap
Arguments FOR a
Balanced Schedule School:
We love St. William School!
• Reduces the amount of material
students forget over the summer
• More instructional time
• Balanced planning and
instruction throughout the
school year based on individual
student progress following each
marking period
• Attendance increases; discipline
problems decrease
• Burn out for both students and
teachers lessen
• No significant impact to the
school budget
What’s Next?
Talk about it…
Ask questions…
Then, please answer the survey on March 27th
and return it by April 2nd, before Easter Vacation.