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Do you think local public schools should extend the school year to make up for recent snow days?

Asked at Target, 3201 Iowa St. on February 4, 2011

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Photo of Heidi Pritchard

“I have two kids. They have days set aside in the year for that, so it doesn’t really make sense.”

Photo of Jodine Trout

“Heck no, I’m a teacher. I think that should just be a natural disaster; it’s an act of God.”

Photo of Logan Mallicoat

“No, extending the school year is blasphemy.”

Photo of Tom Burgess

“Yup, just to make sure they get the curriculum in.”


flux 7 years, 1 month ago

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labmonkey 7 years, 1 month ago

God forbid a teacher not get their full two months off in the summer. The NEA would have a cow.

RoeDapple 7 years, 1 month ago

Yeah, because most teachers I know are taking classes to keep certified, working summer jobs to make ends meet or teaching summer school to help little 'labmonkeys' catch up with the rest of the class. Oh, and squeeze in a little time with their own families, God forbid . . .

Shardwurm 7 years, 1 month ago


Same crying we've heard forever.

I know a teacher who loves his job and tells me he's got it made. He has 12 vacation days, three months off during the summer, is home during all holidays, has complete control over everything that happens in his class, and has very little accountability. And he says he makes a pretty decent wage for all of that.

Tell you what. You want competitive pay for what you do? Get rid of the union and tenure then we'll talk. I want to pay GOOD teachers a fair wage. Currently the system doesn't allow that.

Not sure anyone can argue that good teachers need raises and bad teachers need to be fired. You want more money? Make yourself an at-will employee with accountability for your results. Then we'll pay you if you're good or kick you on the street if you're not. Any takers?


That's what I thought. Take what you get and be happy that you've got a job for the rest of your life with minimal chance of termination.

RoeDapple 7 years, 1 month ago

"crickets" ? No, Shardwurm, no crickets here. I drove trucks for a living for 38 years (yeah, union jobs). I held production records in every department I worked, drove 2.5 million miles accident free, broke my body down getting you your childish video games delivered so your momma could buy them for you. In that same time my wife taught elementary children, staying up most nights grading papers, making lesson plans, calling or being called by parents. Getting up at 4:30AM every school day to start it all again. Taking required summer courses at her cost to keep her certification current. Getting her Masters Degree. Affecting the lives of thousands of children, most of whom she still calls by name, who say "You were my favorite teacher!", "you taught me how to tell time!", "Second grade was the best year of my life!". (This one by a 48 year old college professor) Yeah, I've met some lousy teachers, truck drivers, even doctors and lawyers. My guess is, whatever shardwurms do, some are lousy at it. Would that be you?

RoeDapple 7 years, 1 month ago

Oh, and typical. "I know a teacher". You base your opinion on the weakest link? I know hundreds of teachers. Very few fit your example.

labmonkey 7 years, 1 month ago

Roe, you sound a little bitter this morning. Teachers know what kind of wages they will get from the very beginning. I grow tired hearing teachers complain about having to go back to school in the fall after having two months off, or going back after Christmas vacation when the rest of the world has to work (about 60 hours per week on my part). I am in a union, but if they tried some of the shenanigans the NEA pulls, the company would laugh at them across the negotiating table....and we are not on the taxpayer teat. About half of the people think teachers are paid not enough, the other half too much, which means they are being paid just right.

RoeDapple 7 years, 1 month ago

Not bitter at all lab! My wife was a very devoted teacher for 35 years, and loved it. Total strangers (to me) tell her how they enjoyed being taught in her class. She always responds by calling them by name and recounting a memory she has of them in school. Sure there are bad teachers as well as bad employees in any field. And, just like anywhere else, one bad one can make everyone around them look bad.

Carol Bowen 7 years, 1 month ago

No. The end of the year is generally non-productive. When I was a kid, I remember cleaning my desk and a year-end picnic. Adding more days after the faculty and students have unwound is not a good idea.

Pitt_Mackeson 7 years, 1 month ago

What sick person would extend the already long and slow going school year? It's not the kids fault that 300 million tons of snow fell and the buses couldn't start or what have you. Just glad I'm not in the public system anymore........ (shudders)

Bill Lee 7 years, 1 month ago

I'm a fan of year-round school, so you know where I fall on this. The other option is a form of assisted independent study where students work at their own pace with help from the teacher(s), and when the course work is done, the class is over. Some students would be able to leave for the summer in April, while others might still be working on it until July.

TopJayhawk 7 years, 1 month ago

Even asking this question is just further proof of the way we pamper kids too much. As for the teacher. She needs to make up the days she was off, and it will not kill her to give up a few days of her vacation. If she doesn't like it or all the continueing ed. that Road talks about, get another job..... What a bunch of whiners.

pace 7 years, 1 month ago

Won't kill you to work for her for free. You can get up your rear and do a teacher's yard work or do the dishes for the city workers you always think should just donate their time to the cause. You want the system to work without people getting paid for their jobs, show up, file for free,

deskboy04 7 years, 1 month ago

Teachers aren't whining about make up time. Schools have to meet state mandates. There are provisions in the work contract for this. No one is complaining. The teachers will be there when the school board says to be...ready to do their best for the students.

Kevin Randell 7 years, 1 month ago

A couple of things....

  1. I say no, I agree with the comments that say it is pointless. You extend the school year because of bad weather then you will have children AND teachers spending several more days sitting in a room doing nothing. So, either add about a week to a week and a half of snow days in the school year (because is northeastern Kansas!) or in this case add a few minutes to each class period each day to make up the time. That way the teacher actually has time to get what they need done.

  2. Ok, I am tired of hearing the gripe about poor teacher pay and making ends meat. Look, I have been a teacher, and though I do agree the pay is low, but when you add in the fact that a teacher gets two weeks off in December, one week off in March, AND nearly two months off in the summer with pay, the benefits compensate for the low pay. Teachers.....if you really are that upset about your salary, then offer year round school, and demand more pay. If not, you could do what me and the rest of us have had to do. Go get a regular 40 hour a week job for about 5-10K more than what you make now.....oh...and only get two weeks of vacation a year. Be thankful for what you have.

**now in defense....teachers really don't get paid enough for having to be verbally and mentally abused by administration, students, and parents....and have their hands tied.

davidsmom 7 years, 1 month ago

Isn't the minimum number of days prescribed by law? If so, then the question is moot.

Aileen Dingus 7 years, 1 month ago

This. I believe it is 180 days or the equivalent # of hours.

Tony Kisner 7 years, 1 month ago

Jodine may need to defer all such questions to the company spokesperson in the future.

dragonfly0221 7 years, 1 month ago

Just make it up on Wednesdays if it has to be made up.

secrettoalonglife 7 years, 1 month ago

No. Make the parents responsible for what their children learn. Eliminate public schooling, reduce the budget, and free up a large work force. I believe that history, oh wait, I slept through that class...

nobody1793 7 years, 1 month ago

Your kids are stupid. An extra day or two won't turn that light bulb on.

Mary Darst 7 years, 1 month ago

That's right. The above comments were enough to make my blood boil. Let any of them spend 2 weeks in a classroom and they will shut the .....up.

irvan moore 7 years, 1 month ago

how about they shorten up the winter break a couple of days every year?

Maddy Griffin 7 years, 1 month ago

Good idea. Was it really necessary to give them the entire week before Christmas off? If they had gone until Wednesday (short day), this wouldn't be an issue.

Jeanne Cunningham 7 years, 1 month ago

No. The Governor declared an Emergency. State Employees were given Administrative leave - that is as if those two days didn't even happen - free pass - it's a wash. Choose your favorite analogy.

Unless someone out there knows something that MUST be disseminated to school children that can not possibly be squeezed into the days remaining, I say forget it. IF there is something THAT earth-shaking, post it online/email it/print it out and send home in backpacks.


RoeDapple 7 years, 1 month ago

with a little salt and pepper! And none of that fancy 'sea salt' and pepper corns ground out of some fancy grinder. Just set the cardboard boxes on the table, I'll shake it outa them

Boston_Corbett 7 years, 1 month ago

I've never understood this "sea salt" thing. Seems to me the Morton's stuff that comes from 1,000 whatever feet below Hutchinson also was sea salt.

See how threaded comments is a good thing? This observation would be meaningless at the bottom of the comments.

somedude20 7 years, 1 month ago

Boy boy boy, I remember....." in a small Texas enclave, highlights the rites of passage on the last day of school in 1976 for the new, incoming freshmen at the hands of the class of '77 at Robert E. Lee High School. Freshman boys are physically punished, while the girls largely face the brunt of verbal abuse and humiliation. Two main figures emerge. Incoming freshman Mitch Kramer comes to a new realization in his role as a major target of senior hazing. And, among the seniors is Randall "Pink" Floyd, the school's star quarterback, who moves with facile grace among groups of greasers, nerds, stoners, and athletes alike"

Those were the dayssssssss

Boston_Corbett 7 years, 1 month ago

Only if Dunkin Donuts are served to every student.

richfree 7 years, 1 month ago

Maybe we could go all out, and extend the school day by 20 min.... or maybe extend Wed. afternoon to fit the rest of the week !
There are alternatives to extenting the calendar.

LeBo 7 years, 1 month ago

Lawrence Public Schools are leaving days and children behind!

Christine Pennewell Davis 7 years, 1 month ago

just make it up on wedensdays not a big deal really.

Deja Coffin 7 years, 1 month ago

No, but my oldest is in kindergarten so the missed days have only really mattered when it comes to the official 100th day of school!

Onasis 7 years, 1 month ago

Yes. Lawrence is already off early every Wed. They have to be in school so many hrs (which is mandated in order to ensure our children are being taught the curriculum they need)... so maybe if Lawrence didn't toe the line so closely on the minimum # of hrs they have to complete, they wouldn't need to make up any days...

Onasis 7 years, 1 month ago

I'd just like to add that the decision to add days vs add time to the end of each day should not be based on what is convenient for teachers/administrators/or the public. It should be based on the best interest and most effective way to teach the children. Would 5 min at the end of each day really be effective? Or could you add two days to the end, and have more time to complete a lesson, and do the picnic/clean up stuff on those two extra days? Or do you add an hour or two to the end of each Wednesday and go a little beyond the min hours. It doesn't take a genius to figure this out, it just takes someone with the right priority in mind.

dogsandcats 7 years, 1 month ago

I don't understand the argument people are making that adding a couple days just means kids and teachers doing nothing for a couple extra days? It gives the teachers more time to fit in the curriculum that was missed from the days school was called off.

Judging by some of the writing skills on these boards, kids need all the education they can get.

John Reher 7 years, 1 month ago

Year round boarding school is the way to go. Keep all those crazy kids out of town!

sr80 7 years, 1 month ago

i say the kids owe 2 days for every 1 day missed.what do you think johnny boy??

Jay Keffer 7 years, 1 month ago

HollisBrown sez:

"The main thing I remember about the end of 6th grade at Centennial Elementary is that Mr. Marcy made some friends and me scrape all the spit wads off of the ceiling. Remember those huge wall clocks with the glass casing? We plastered that pretty good. Jay and Joel knocked it off of the wall whille scraping it with a yardstick. It shattered. We got in more trouble."

Ha ha - I remenber Mr Marcy. He once told me to 'stop lollygagging around' in the hallway. When I asked what that meant his face got even redder. Seemed to be in a perpetual bad mood.

Paul R Getto 7 years, 1 month ago

davidsmom (anonymous) says… Isn't the minimum number of days prescribed by law? If so, then the question is moot. ... Dazie (Aileen Dingus) replies...I believe it is 180 days or the equivalent # of hours. === That is true, in the simplest form....1,116 hours of instruction or 186 days. Seniors, because they are 'cool' get to skip the last few days if the board of ed allows it. We will know we are making progress when schools are open 5 1/2 days a week all year long, about 10 hours a day and they only close on bank holidays. Students wouldn't have to attend all those hours and we would spread out the work among other people. The kicker: You cannot get a diploma (or a job) until you meet all the 'standards' on the books. Right now the standards are just suggestions. The new Common Core movement should be very interesting watch, I tell ya.

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