Dear Dr. Alonso:
As you work to reform the Baltimore City Public Schools, perhaps you can reform the calendar?
We're only given 180 school days a year. To force school-going until Christmas Eve, or other days like Thanksgiving Eve, really seems to undermine what you're trying to do. Attendance is horrible these days, and very little, if any, learning is going on. My school decided to hold its annual holiday assembly on today, Wednesday, primarily because attendance on Thursday was expected to be so poor. I'm sure the problem is throughout the district.
In addition, with our new contract that will attract the best and brightest from around the country, not affording teachers more of an opportunity to visit their far-away families is also problematic. This is not to mention the families of students in our district, who would appreciate their young kids home a little bit sooner than they are. Indeed, many simply keep them home.
All in all, I'd much rather go a bit later in the school year than be a babysitter to the half of students who will show up tomorrow. Seriously, this is not good for the kids.
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