Thursday, June 01, 2006

World Class City, World Class Academic Calendar

Why, on the Gulf Coast, do we keep a school calendar similar to those in Kansas, or Oregon, or New Mexico?

We all know that the heart of the hurricane season in New Orleans is in mid-August through late-September.

So let's try this for a school schedule--ALL schools, from pre-school on through university--in the central Gulf Coast:

School starts October 7

School ends June 28

1. Schools (especially college students coming here from elsewhere) would have few if any worries about evacuations and missed school days during the school year.

2. It's a very European schedule. Check, for example, this past year's semester schedule for the University of Edinburgh. It didn't start until September 19.

Schools in New Orleans have developed this crazy habit of starting almost a month earlier than that. Why not push it two weeks later than they do in Europe? Where's the harm?

Start the campaign now: on the Gulf Coast, we start school in October, end in late June.

If the arguments start, maybe we can justify it as some kind of Napoleonic Code thing.


humidhaney said...

thats a good idea to pass around. all for it.

MikeMoser said...

Geez, that's so brilliant, I'm kicking myself for not thinking about it earlier, it's so obvious.

Other benefit to evacuations, etc. is that you don't have to run as much Air conditioning in August, surely the most expensive month.

At the college level, it might help appeal to those college kids who want a longer summer after their Senior year; think of the Rod Stewart song about 'it's late September and I really should be back at school...'

...might actually boost enrollment.

... And Lord knows, arriving in New Orleans in August from a milder climate like California is a climate shock in a normal year.

Best part is it deals with the 800 lbs Gorilla in the room.

Pass it along.

Anonymous said...

Yes, that was basically the calendar at Cambridge - but we only had three eight-week terms (ten-week terms for graduates).

mikemoser said...

This is an elegant solution that is practical, efficient and easy to do in the grand scheme of things.

What obstacles does it face besides inertia?

Pawpaw said...

Simply invoking Europe causes me to reject it out-of-hand. If it is a good idea, it is a good idea, but if the Europeans do it, I think it needs more study.