Interesting way to increase tourism revenue

May 5th, 2003, 02:06 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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When I was teaching school in Virginia, a similar law was passed and referred to jokingly as the "amusement park relief act". Busch Gardens and Kings Dominion among others argued that they needed teenagers to work Labor Day weekend and they would presumably not be able to work as much if they had already started school. Among teachers, the objection was that students seemed to do better starting earlier than carrying school into late June. Even though they were in school the same amount of time, it seemed that attention tapered off as the weather warmed, thus starting school earlier in the year presumably allowed a more optimal learning schedule. I don't live there anymore so it doesn't affect me, just giving an additional reason the NC Tourism might want this. I'm with Curious and J Correa...I like year round schools.
JennyL is offline  
Feb 19th, 2004, 09:36 AM
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An interesting update. An organization called "Save Our Summers" is proposing legislation in the NC General Assembly to start traditional-calendar schools after the Labor Day holiday. They have a web site where people can sign up for their petition. (So far about 3,000 have).

According to the Associated Press:

The early start is cutting into traditional family time, bill supporters said, making it difficult for students to visit family members in other states where children remain on vacation into September.

"Starting school in July or August seriously threatens the well-being of our children," Louise Lee, a former Wake County teacher, said at a Legislative Building news conference.

"All of us here know how valuable quality family time is, and school is just one component of a child's education," she added.

End of quote. In North Carolina, students must attend 180 days of school and teachers are required a 6-week break. If the school calendar is pushed back to an after Labor Day opening (now schools start in early- to mid-August) the end of school will move from Memorial Day to mid- to late-June.

To read more about Save Our Summers, their web site is:
ncgrrl is offline  
Feb 19th, 2004, 09:48 AM
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Well then I guess the tourism officials WILL really hate the idea that kids should go to school 11 months a year, instead of only 9 1/2 months. That tradition has more to do with our agriculutral history than it does with a kids capacity to learn.

Given how poorly US student's fare when compared to students in other Western Countries, we certainly can use the extra time to beef up our math and science scores.
Ryan is offline  
Feb 19th, 2004, 09:51 AM
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I wouldn't mind if they started after Labor Day - we usually start the week before. I agree with Buckeyemom, why start for only a few days and then take a long weekend?

I would be happy if they started either after Labor Day or got out before Memorial Day. They are in school for both long weekends, and many families with limited vacation days could use the three-day weekend to extend thier vacation.
buttercup is offline  
Feb 19th, 2004, 09:59 AM
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Later on in the article someone mentioned it wouldn't be 'saving' summers, it would just shift them.

Wait until the kids graduate from school and find out they have to work 50 weeks of the year.

I don't understand the big deal these groups are making about starting school after Labor Day. Colleges and universities in NC start before Labor Day and no one is upset with that.

ncgrrl is offline  
Feb 19th, 2004, 10:40 AM
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As I mentioned above, my dd school starts the Thursday before Labor Day. They really don't do much these 2 days and they have early dismissal the Friday before Labor Day.

As for going until mid-June, some of our schools do that now because of snow days. They are only allowed to have so many snow days and then they have to make up for it in June.

Does anyone know here have year round school? How do you like it? And how are breaks figured into it?
buckeyemom is offline  
Feb 19th, 2004, 10:56 AM
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I am all for making the day after labor day a National Start date. I am sick also of year round school here. We get 5 weeks off, end of June all of July off. Then we get November and March. Both too cold here to enjoy anything within driving distance. So gotta fly somewhere warm.Agghhh!
MoniqueU is offline  
Feb 19th, 2004, 12:28 PM
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Just to clarify the "year-round" school issue, despite the title, it doesn't mean that children are in school all year.

Our school district (in a huge growth area) is year-round. Each school has up to four tracks - each track runs for 9 weeks, then 3 weeks off. Three tracks are in session at all times, and one track is off. All tracks have 2 weeks off at Christmas and 2 weeks in June, at the end of the school year.

It's cheaper than schools run on conventional calendars because, even though all the schools must be air-conditioned, 1/4 more students can attend the same school.

My son loves year-round school (we're getting used to it). He has his long breaks in September, December, March and June. It's GREAT to to be able to travel when everyone else is in school!
Lexma90 is offline  
Jul 19th, 2004, 06:45 AM
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Another follow-up. The North Carolina General Assembly voted over the weekend to regulate the school calander. Starting next school year (05-06) traditional calendar schools cannot start before Aug. 25 and must end by June 10. Five teacher workdays were elimated from the school year. Students will have the same number of school attendance days. The bill now heads to the governor for signature. There are some exceptions like for districts that miss a lot of schools because of weather reasons and for some exceptional students and alternative curriculum plans.
ncgrrl is offline  
Jul 19th, 2004, 10:30 AM
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Wow, in a time where I thought improving education was such an important issue, NC is moving to make sure there is a minimum 10 week vacation over the summer? All the educators I know say the long summer vacation sets kids back as they spend Sept simply reminding them what happened the year before.

On the orginal tourism issue, it sounds strange to me. Is it possible that they really wanted "child" labor for the entire summer as in VA?
vacationdreamer is offline  
Jul 19th, 2004, 12:23 PM
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The original bill was a request from the tourism industry. This year's bill came from the Save Our Summer group.

I know the beach communities have had trouble with employing summer workers. Many are importing labor from Eastern European countries but those type of visas are harder to get in a post 9/11 America. I'm not sure about Carowinds or other seasonal attractions in NC.

Colleges in NC start in mid-August and I think that would have more of an effect on the summer destination labor market than the start of the K-12 school year.

Many (I think 85%, but I'm not sure of the exact figure) school boards opposed the bill. The school boards said the calendar was a local issue. And they do have a point. Somewhere in the mountains might schedule in more "teacher work days/make up days" than a coastal location. As with any piece of legislation there are loop holes. I'm sure school systems will try to find a way to work the new law to their advantage.

Anyway, if the tourism industry reaches their desired results, expect more people at the beach next summer in North Carolina.
ncgrrl is offline  

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