The Hudson Board of Education will be voting March 17 on changes to the 2015-2016 school calendar, namely an Aug. 19 start date and an elimination of the Wednesday before Thanksgiving as a holiday. The goal is to adjust the calendar so that the semester ends and students can take midterms before Christmas.
I am concerned about the proposed changes for the following reasons:
1. Our older school buildings are not equipped to deal with the extreme August temperatures, leading to an unproductive learning environment. The cost of updating the current facilities is estimated at $6 million.
2. Cooling the more modern buildings results in higher utilities, the cost of which is passed on to the taxpayers.
3. In 2015, Aug. 19 is 19 days before Labor Day. This would mean our schools would start as early as Aug. 17 in 2016 and Aug. 16 in 2017. That's half our month.
4. Much revenue is lost in the tourism and recreation industry (the third largest in Ohio) when kids go back to school so many days before Labor Day. This directly affects the revenue passed on to the schools through local and state funds.
5. The Wednesday before Thanksgiving is the busiest travel day of the year. Expecting full attendance on this day is unrealistic and forces families to choose between school and family.
Are these changes necessary? What makes starting school in August, when temperatures are extremely hot, more desirable than taking midterms after winter break? Can't some compromise be made?
These changes will affect everyone in the Town of Hudson: parents, students, faculty, administration, taxpayers, business owners, etc. I urge you to educate yourself on these changes. If you agree, please contact the BOE and ask them to vote against the proposal and start school later.
Meghan Vaillancourt, Hudson