More LAUSD Proposed Calendar Concepts: The 5/7 Tango

Another twist in the LAUSD Calendar Conundrum. Enter the 5/7 Tango.

Say what?

5:7 Proposal

According to a recent article in LA School Report, “An advisory committee studying options for LA Unified’s academic calendar are considering six different plans, and one them is a radically different approach that would shorten the summer break to five weeks and increase the winter break to seven weeks.

The idea being that they could create a 20-day intersession (think ‘summer school’ but during both the winter and summer breaks) for students who fall below basic and need extra remediation or credit recovery.

If passed, this would mean that students would break for 7 weeks during the winter holiday, and only 5 weeks in the summer.

Whaaaat?! 

What do working parents do? I guess their kids can just hang out while parents go back to work, which is most public school parents these days. What about the kids who don’t qualify/don’t need the intersession, where does their retention go after a 7-week winter break as they head back to the second semester?

Um, down the (You)Tubes.

For those of you who followed my GoMamaGuide Facebook page, you saw as I covered the robocalls this past weekend that went out to current LAUSD parents, announcing with a 1-day notice there would be an upcoming telephone survey that would poll parents on 5 calendar-related questions. The calls came in over the weekend right when most of us had our hands full of kids and dinner, or for those with a life, date night and/or other weekend evening activities. There were 3 attempts to reach us and if we didn’t pick up the phone and take the phone survey right then and there during one of those 3 calls, that would be it.

Then I started seeing reports from many folks who did answer and attempt to take the phone survey, only to have the calls glitch and unceremoniously disconnect them after the first question. So much for parent participation.

In another robocall Monday evening, LAUSD Supt. Cortines acknowledged that there were indeed glitches in the telephone survey and offered an apology to parents, explaining they would reach out to those who experienced problems.

Ok, but how? When? Who would be reached? And how would they know who did and who didn’t complete the survey? They offered no number, no email or website to contact them back if you received one of the glitched calls.

Supt. Cortines also mentioned on the call that there were 58,000 “successful” responses. Um. Cool.

Looking at the “fingertip facts” on LAUSD’s own website, this figure represents just over 10% of the 542,433 students currently enrolled in LAUSD. (Remember, independent charters get to set their own calendars so they are immune from this decision.)

So, a success? Or is it a fail.

We’ll see what happens next. They’ll be making a decision this spring that will impact the next three years. Regardless of what happens, you can bet I’ll be staying on top of this topic on behalf of all of us!

If you feel motivated, share your opinion by emailing Supt. Cortines and your board members directly:

superintentdent@lausd.net
george.mckenna@lausd.net
monica.garcia@lausd.net
scott.schmerelson@lausd.net
steve.zimmer@lausd.net
ref.rodriguez@lausd.net
monica.ratliff@lausd.net
richard.vladovic@lausd.net

For a deeper dive into the number crunching and test results the joint advisory committee considered collected from the offices of School Operations, Curriculum, Instruction and School Support, Data and Accountability, and Budget Services, click HERE.

Caution: Enter data dive at your own risk. Quick perusal doesn’t show enough significant test gains to substantiate maintaining Early Start in my opinion, but I know that many High 
Schoolers love it.