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An open letter to the Cazenovia Central School District superintendent and board of education

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Dear Mr. Robert S. Dubik and Cazenovia Board of Education:

My family joined the Cazenovia Central School district in the beginning of the last academic school year. While I have many positive things to say about our experiences with the Cazenovia Central School District, I felt compelled to bring this issue to your attention as I find the district calendar highly disruptive.

I am displeased with the irregularity of the Cazenovia school calendar. This is specifically in regards to your decision to have teacher development/conference days, either half days or days off, on Thursdays. Particularly with elementary age children, families have difficulty adjusting to the high number of home to school to home transitions this creates. Research has shown that consistency in developing routines including day-to-day schedules is important for children’s optimal behavior and performance. Regularity is key for setting expectations and reducing anxieties. The children simply do not want to attend school on a Friday when they just had a single Thursday off. This creates a negative attitude toward school, and in my own family, I have three children who previously have always loved to go to school!! We need to keep school experiences as positive as possible for our children. When these difficult adjustments are established early (i.e. in kindergarten), the negative impacts are hard to overcome.

When development days are held on Friday or near other holidays, working parents are more likely to have flexibility and will more often spend this as family time. Today’s busy schedules make precious family time more difficult to find. During the six years that I experienced Friday development days, I was able to spend that time going to museums or the library with my kids. To accommodate the Thursday day off, I arrange childcare instead, and I find the extra end of the week transitions to be very disruptive and difficult to manage.

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