Who Controls the Frederick County Public Schools Calendar?

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With each passing year FCPS continues to dehumanize our children, erode traditions, put distance between families and their children while turning our schools into training camps for activism. The proposed 2023-24 school calendar reflects that advancement. 

I write from the position that children should be allowed to be children for as long as is reasonable.

The proposed calendar starts school August 9 and ends May 21. The largest influence on the school calendar should be parents not teachers’ unions and special interest groups. Instead of creating our school calendar around the teacher union contracts (negotiated agreements), why don’t we negotiate the teacher contract around the BEST academic calendar for the children?

In 2016 Governor Larry Hogan mandated our schools start after Labor Day. This wasn’t done on a whim; it was done after soliciting the public and parents for their input.  Aside from the economic impact an after Labor Day start has on our communities, it has an impact on joyful living.

We are robbing our children of joy while building their lives around personal and political grievances. When does this end?

Unions and government shouldn’t be dictating our school calendar, parents and taxpayers should. Our school calendar should be a constant in the lives of our county. You should be able to plan around when school starts and ends year after year. Built in days for holidays, snow, teacher conferences and marking periods shouldn’t be changing every single year.

Our children aren’t cogs in a wheel, mechanisms to fuel an economy, they are human beings who have the God given right to enjoy their youth and childhoods – Just Like We Did!

Have we decided to build our lives around fear, activism and grievances? Have joy, fun and families taken a back seat? The calendar presented doesn’t represent what is best for a child’s education, it represents what’s best for interest groups: unions, testing companies and Chambers of Commerce, to name a few.

Adulthood comes way to early for all of us. Why we are insisting on robbing our children of the time necessary to create memories to last a lifetime is lost on me. We can both prepare our children for adult life and working without sacrificing the joy of childhood.

Look around, we have at least one generation of neurotic young people having a challenging time coping with reality. Maybe we need to return to treating them like people instead of resources? Maybe we should stop using them as a means to achieve and end?

Maybe we remind school systems they don’t co-parent with us?

Maybe, just maybe public educations exploitation of our children has taken enough of a toll?

Frederick County is still farm country. Fall is still harvest season. Farm harvesting and getting livestock ready for market all require seasonal help. That seasonal help is filled with high school and college students in need of part-time jobs. These are often our children’s first experiences with work. Not to mention the only mechanism to pass on the farming tradition and education to those not born into a farm family. The learning experience of working on a farm cannot be recreated in a classroom.

When schools start up seasonal employees disappear, time for fun in the sun is paused until the following spring.

What’s missing?

Children need to be children, families need to spend time together, and our farming families need support.

Let’s stop shortening the time off for Fair Day and attempting to erase Christmas. We should be strengthening our common bonds of traditions and holidays, not erasing them.

It’s time to stop segregating our communities and start uniting them. There’s no more perfect a place to build that unity than around the family.

Instead of building the school calendar around special interest groups maybe we should try the traditional model of building them around families?

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