Calendar revision finalized


By Aaron Facundo 

Good news: next year school will start six weekdays later on Aug. 16.
Bad news: the school year will remain at 43 weeks, summer break still at nine.
The GUSD school board approved the 2017-2018 school calendar last month by a 3-2 vote.
Some parents are not pleased with how little the year changed from previous years.
After all, the GUSD begins school earlier than most districts in the United States such as the New York City School District which started school on Sept. 8 this year and Burbank which started Aug. 15.
Since the school year must consist of 180 days, the district changing when school starts and ends has no effect on the actual amount of days of instruction.
The school year remains at 43 weeks compared to 41 in Burbank.
The 2017-2018 school year will include 31 days off as opposed to the 32 days off currently. The Friday before Labor Day has been dropped.
Last year, parent Sarah Rush set up the online petition “Save Our GUSD Summers.” The goal was to start school in early September around Labor Day as opposed to early August.
“On Aug. 10, 2015, I dropped my daughter off at Rosemont Middle School for the first day of school,” Rush said, “I was so frustrated by the early start date, since she had taken summer school and we had only two weeks of summer break before Orientation Day.”
Rush’s goal was to have 1,000 people sign her online petition in order to gain attention or even possibly persuade district officials to change the school start date.
At the end of her petition, Rush’s expectations were more than doubled with 2,500 signatures.
The “Save Our GUSD Summers” petition got the attention of the district which formed a 27-member superintendent’s committee whose sole purpose was to discuss calendar development.
Although her petition was successful, Rush remains dissatisfied because her petition did not have an immediate effect. Rather, the GUSD made their own decisions and prolonged the final result.
“After an online survey, three community meetings, and a calendar committee, the school board continued its own agenda without regard to public outcry,” Rush said.
According to board member Jennifer Freemon who voted for the calendar, other conflicting desires from parents such as “an interest in starting school post-Labor Day, having a full week break at Thanksgiving and ending the semester at winter break” made pushing back the school year nearly impossible.
“It has been a very disillusioning year attending school board meetings and attempting to hold the members accountable,” Rush said.
The 2018-2019 calendar has yet to be determined.