Patterico's Pontifications


Back to School

Filed under: Education — DRJ @ 7:44 am

[Headlines from DRJ]

It’S back to school time in Texas. El Paso schools face extra challenges after the recent shooting:

On Monday, nearly 60,000 public school students in El Paso, Texas, will start the school year amid an air of mourning, fear and resilience.

The first day of school in El Paso’s largest district comes more than a week aftera mass shooting at a local Walmart left 22 people dead. According to a police affidavit, the suspect charged in the attack later said he had intentionally targeted “Mexicans.”

“It’s not at all, in any way, a typical start of school,” says Juan Cabrera, the superintendent of the El Paso Independent School District (EPISD). “This is not going to be easy. This is going to be difficult and we are really taking this very seriously.”

According to Cabrera, the school district has been contacting families affected by the shooting in order to connect them to support services. No EPISD students were killed, but Cabrera says El Paso is a close-knit community and some students have family members who were directly involved, or know people who were at the Walmart during the attack.

There are ways to help teachers in our schools including Donors Choose and Help A Teacher (also on Facebook). And, as always, drive carefully.


8 Responses to “Back to School”

  1. Here is what is proposed for Caliunicornia high school students, a must before they can graduate…

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  2. Why, starting sometime 10-20 years ago maybe, are they starting school in August, and now even in the first half of August in some many places? Do they end it earlier in the spring? Have weeks off during the year?

    Sammy Finkelman (324ec1)

  3. Think of the tariffs they’ll be making China pay on all those school supplies bought at Walmart! 60,000 Sharpies marked up from 47 to 55 cents a piece is showing ’em who’s the boss, eh Captain, sir?!

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  4. Why, starting sometime 10-20 years ago maybe, are they starting school in August, and now even in the first half of August in some many places? Do they end it earlier in the spring? Have weeks off during the year?

    It’s for a variety of reasons. When I was in school back in the days before craft brewing, we had two weeks off at Christmas and one week off for spring break. Nowadays I understand that they have a week-long fall break in early October, they take the entire week off for Thanksgiving, two weeks at Christmas, along with the week for spring break. Additionally, there is sometimes a winter holiday where Presidents’ Day becomes a four-day or even five-day weekend. Then you throw in various in-service days for the teachers where students don’t report to school, and suddenly you are starting class in mid-August and going until mid-June.

    JVW (54fd0b)

  5. When school started it was time to get ready for hunting season. Shooting clays with a 12 gauge and targets with a 300 savage lever action.

    mg (8cbc69)

  6. In Texas, the school year has started earlier (or ended later) for the past decade or more. In my day, school ended in May and always started after Labor Day because schools did not have air conditioning — I know mine didn’t — and it was too darned hot to be in school in August. Now that is rarely an issue, and most schools seem to start in mid-August and end in June.

    The Education Code requires a certain amount of teaching time per year, e.g., 180 days per year, and as the number increased then the school year increased, too. In addition, more school districts expanded the school year to allow for more inclement weather days, longer vacations, and required teacher in-service days. The school year was getting so much longer that the TEA actually altered the requirements to school minutes instead of school days, to help local districts avoid having to expand the school year even more.

    DRJ (15874d)

  7. In Colorado we would lose school days to snowstorms. They would assume two days per year would be school cancellations, so that was built into the calendar. But if there were more than two, then we would have days added on the back-end and our June 5 (approximately) end date would be stretched out. I think Colorado has done the same thing as Texas and gone from days to hours or minutes, because my old school district now has the high schools only in session from Monday-Thursday, with Fridays being free. To make up for that, the school day has been extended by something like 80 minutes.

    JVW (54fd0b)

  8. In West Texas, one result is more parents home-school or send their kids to private schools, some of which have only a day or two of classes a week for older kids. In other words, the end result in my area has been more choice. I know that isn’t what the school districts wanted but parents did, so the market gave it to them.

    DRJ (15874d)

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