Stormy Weather and School Days

Well, well, well. School seems to be permanently cancelled for the year! What an incredible arrangement of storms, wrapped around a weekend, to make for “March Break #2.” Some of you are likely delighting in the extra time with your kids, while I can well imagine others are feeling stretched to the breaking point!

So… what does this mean for learning? We’ve missed four days since March Break, with tomorrow looking iffy, and summer feeling a long, long way away. How does our program adjust?

One simple move we’ll make is to regain one instructional day by cancelling our May P.D. Day and spreading that staff work over the weeks before and after it.

As I’ve expressed to you in past newsletters, we highly value P.D. Days for the time it provides for staff enrichment. That said, in these unusual circumstances, we’ll forego this one.

What about tacking on more days in June? We chose years ago to create a June schedule that ends a little earlier than the government system. We always find that children’s productivity wanes as June advances. By the 20th of June, “attention-deficit-hyperactive” seems to describe just about everyone! Lengthening the year is unlikely to be profitable.

(It should be noted that we compensate for our slightly shorter June by starting earlier in September and making each school day longer, so our children have substantially more instructional time than any other students in PEI… about 50 hours more per year, in fact.)

Our teachers are already very sensitive to how time is used in the school. Movies, as you probably know, are very uncommon and are only used during class time when there’s a clear learning benefit. Class time is already treated as precious, and will continue to be preserved carefully. Already one teacher has, for example, cancelled a new three-morning program that was optional – an experimental thing that could very well have been worthwhile, but will be bumped to a future year.

One thing we will keep is the odd party. Parties are great! One of the things that people cite as something they love about Immanuel is that we are a community, not merely an “educational institution.” So at appropriate times, we’ll put on the music and take out the party hats and celebrate something or someone!

The first thing we’ll have to celebrate is the eventual end of this stormy weather! (mm)