Monday, January 19, 2009

School Holidays

Currently Reading: Read Ashley and Dakota's stories in Brit Party; in fact, I'm still on Dakota's. I had to stop reading when it was time to pick up one of the kids.

Remember when we were kids? It seemed every time the government had a holiday, we did too.

Labor Day (Still going)
Columbus Day (Not anymore)
Veteren's Day (Not anymore)
The month of November (okay...we only went one FULL week, with half days on Friday, or half on Thursday and Friday off. Now the kids get one or two days off in October and they call it 'Fall Break')
Thanksgiving (Duh!)
Christmas (Duh!)
MLKJr (Some schools. More on this later)
Washington and Lincoln's Birthdays (Now they call it 'President's Day' and some schools observe it; others use it as a 'make up day')
Good Friday (Still going)
Spring Break (Duh!)
Memorial Day (School was usually out by now!)

Why do I bring this up? Because when we moved down here two years ago, MLKJr day was a regular holiday at the kids' old school, UNLESS they needed it for a 'make up Snow Day'. We moved in November and didn't hardly have any snow. So when my son wanted to spend the weekend with his friend in the old neighborhood, we drove him north on Friday and made arrangements to get him back Monday afternoon, since it was MLKJr day.

And stupidly, I did not check the new school's calendar.

Imagine my surprise Monday morning when the phone rang around 8:30, from my daughter's middle school.

"We noticed S isn't at school today..."

"Um...we thought it was a holiday. It was up north..."

"No; can we expect her to come in?"

"Let me wake her up. I'm sorry for the confusion."

S was NOT a happy camper when she discovered she was being forced out of her warm bed while her brother was allowed to skip!

"He's two hours away; even if I left right now, he'd only make it back in time for the final hour!"

When did the rules change? I know part of it has to do with the blizzard of 1978 and the snows of 1979. I was twelve, and we missed so much school in '78 that the school district issued 'Snow Packets'. At the first sign of snow, the teachers put together various assignments in every single class, for 'homework' to be done the days school was called off due to weather.

Some were pretty easy. In English, I remember I always picked the 'write a journal entry'. And in Choir, my fav was 'watch a TV show and write down the music composer'. But Science always wanted a small experiment, and I hated those. So much I cannot even recall one I even did!

I suspect the rules also had something to do with the stricter standards, or higher standards, set for kids. For instance, learning a language was optional. Now they require two or three years. We didn't have to take the ISTEP test, or even a graduation exam. If we had all the credits necessary, we were handed a diploma. Now if kids don't pass the ISTEP by the tenth grade, they have to KEEP TAKING it until they do!

I've been lucky; I have two kids who have passed it every single year. Plus, they have rarily slipped off the honor roll. But a neighbor has a child who doesn't care; she's not passed the ISTEP and is barely passing her classes. In fact, she's still classified a sophomore, even though she's about to turn 17.

Today is MLKJr day. We have a two hour delay, due to snow, but the toddler has the day off, since his school is government-funded. And S is still complaining about the 'injustice' of it!

She'll get over it next year, when he's in kindergarten and has to get up and go to school with her!

Or, maybe we'll be back in the old neighborhood by that time, and they can both sleep.

Who knows?

Update on 54-yr-old Child:
He's doing okay, but I'm still calling the dr and making an ASAP appointment! He did nothing but sit in front of the TV; every time he stood up and moved, the dizziness came back. And I am NOT putting up with a husband who just sits around all day, due to 'I don't feel good' (insert whine). It could be heart-related (meds out of whack, internal bleeding) or diabetes-related (sugar too high/too low. If he'd check it more often, or take the meds, we'd know!). So keep him in your thoughts and prayers. If the pipline calls and wants him back, he needs to be healthy to take the job!

Off My Soapbox
Enjoy your day; I know it's Monday, so make the best of it. Now if the satellite would just shows this weekend were all screwed up because of the weather. That's okay; I'll just have to keep an eye on the daily reruns and DVR them when I see one I've missed. Friday was the beginning of season 7, and I was able to watch it all the way through. Today is another episode I only saw half of, and next Friday is another complete episode one of my children accidentally deleted. So yeah, I'm catching up!


Regina Carlysle said...

I HATE the testing that's going on in the schools these days. Like you, I did the required classes, was graded and got a diploma. Around here the teachers teach to the test so much, I wonder what good stuff the kids could be learning, but aren't. Drives me nuts.

Anonymous said...

We had the same issue in Fort Wayne. School was in session. Here, in TN, they are off again. So confusing!

Sandra Cox said...

Wow, I'm surprised MLK is a makeup day. We get it off here. At least at the college.