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Two days ago on March 25, 2014, District Deeds published a post named FOUR REASONS the SDUSD SCHOOL START DATE Should Remain AFTER Labor Day. We listed the following 4 reasons why the SDUSD school start date should remain after Labor Day:

  1. NO Financial Analysis on What It Would Cost to Change the Calendar to Pre-Labor Day.
  2. Inaccurate Information Provided to Stakeholders Regarding the School Start Date.
  3. Incomplete and Unbalanced Information Provided to Stakeholders Regarding the School Start Date.
  4. Stakeholder Feedback Mechanism has No Defined and “Accuracy Verified” Process, Procedure or Proof that ALL Stakeholders (or even what PERCENTAGE of SDUSD Stakeholders) have been consulted.

Since that time we have been provided by Heather Worms, an involved Parent of two children in the Mission Bay Cluster, an excellent email that she sent on March 23rd to the San Diego Unified Superintendent, Board of Education and other key SDUSD Senior Staff named “RESPONSE TO CALENDAR COMMITTEE PROPOSAL FOR AUGUST START DATE” that we were not aware of BEFORE we had posted our list of four.  In her email, Ms. Worms goes much more in-depth on many of the issues that we touched on in our list and adds a lot of value to the discussion.

Here is her email in its entirety:  Open Letter Response to Calendar Committee Proposal

In her email, Ms. Worms said the following:

“The Calendar Committee has posted several reasons for an earlier start date.  However, I feel their reasons are very one-sided and at this time the committee has no data to prove an earlier start date is beneficial to ALL students in the district.  I urge the district supervisors and Board of Education members insist the Calendar Committee produce this data before going forward with a vote regarding this issue.”

Ms. Worms then proceeds to go through “Calendar Committee claims that an earlier start date is better for our students” that were “taken directly from the SDUSD website”.

Briefly, among the claims that Ms. Worms disputes are the following items listed by the SDUSD Calendar Committee:

  • Aligns the District Calendar with the majority of School districts across San Diego County

Ms. Worms response:Many of these districts start one, two or even three weeks before SDUSD.  Moving to an earlier start date isn’t true alignment if all the other districts have different start daters as well.”

  • Maximizes instruction time

Ms. Worms response:  Based on numerous valid examples Ms. Worms provides, “…it doesn’t matter when school starts.”

  •  Properly prepares our students for success on the Advanced Placement (AP) tests.

Ms. Worms response:  Besides “providing NO data to support the idea that these students would achieve higher success in AP tests with a few more days”, Ms Worms asks “Should all students be forced to start school earlier to benefit this small percentage of high school students?”

  • Aligns the district calendar more closely with the San Diego Community College District and other university academic calendars.

Ms. Worms response: School would end June 14th which is approximately two weeks after San Diego Community College summer courses begin.  The above reason of the Calendar Committee is, in fact, incorrect.

  • Students who participate in fall sports begin training in August to be competitive with the other districts that start school in August.

Ms. Worms response:  In actuality, our districts athletes have an advantage over other districts with and earlier start date…because they don’t have school days imposing on their practice schedules.

At the end of her email, Ms. Worms again requests that:

Before the Board of education and District Supervisors vote on whether or not to make this major change to the school start date, an in-depth review of the costs and benefits is required.  The calendar Committee’s reasons for an earlier start date are not supported by facts or data.”

Based on the compelling logic provided by Ms. Worms in her email, we believe we should add a 5TH REASON the SDUSD SCHOOL START DATE Should Remain AFTER Labor Day!

5. The Board of Education cannot make an informed vote on changing the SDUSD School start date until it is supported by verified facts and data by the Calendar Committee that prove it will be better for our students.

Thank you Ms. Worms for spending the time and effort to craft such a compelling email and having the courage to allow us to publish it.

We can only hope that the SDUSD recipients, Superintendent Marten, Board members Barrera, Beiser, McQuary, Foster and Evans and Senior Staff Monreal, Kroemer, Dulgeroff, Lochtefeld, Philpott and Zintz take AS MUCH OR MORE TIME THAN WE DID to go through all of the evidence we have provided and come to the only reasonable conclusion.

The conclusion that for the good of ALL STUDENTS, the SDUSD school start date SHOULD REMAIN AFTER LABOR DAY FOR 2016/17 AND BEYOND!


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