The Iowa School Instructional Time Task Force, a group of educators and education exports from around the state, met again on Monday to tackle some thorny issues in statewide education (a final draft of their findings and suggestions is forthcoming) like if the school day should be extended for some students, all students or no students. They'll also be issuing recommendations for whether or not the state should have standardized calendars , including a universal start date.
The majority of members voted against an universal start date at the last meeting but that could change in the final report.
I don't have school age children yet but I do supervise a staff that has a large number of parents of school age children on it and I have to say that I like that not every district starts on the same day. It makes it easier to say "yes" when people want to take the morning of the first day of school off so they can see their kids off. If everyone started on the same day, I'd have to say "no" or face a deserted office.
In terms of the school day, I know that the United States is on the low end in terms of the number of hours kids stay in school, but I think I'd rather have an extended school year than an extended school day. I want my kids to have some time just to play and be kids once school starts and not feel like the 8-5 grind starts at 5 years old.
What do you think? Should the school day or school year be longer? Do you wish all schools started on the same day?