Hemet District Opposes Calendar Change

Hemet District Opposes

Calendar Change

The school board sends the proposed 2012-13 schedule back to staff to be reconfigured


STAFF WRITER kpearson@pe.com


The Hemet school board on Tuesday night overwhelmingly opposed a shift in the academic calendar for the upcoming year that would have started classes in the 22,000-student district a week earlier.

The board was so strongly against the move that it did not even formally vote on the item, instead sending the issue back to district staff so that a new proposed 2012-13 academic calendar could be drafted and brought back at a later meeting.

Under the proposal, classes would have begun on August 14, a week earlier than this year. To offset the earlier start, students would have received three weeks off at winter break.

The week off for Thanksgiving, Presidents Day week and Spring Break would have remained intact.

“This is one of those head versus heart issues,” President Bill Sanborn said. “My head understands the reasons … but my heart looks at this and has a hard time with it.”

District staff proposed the change to align Hemet with neighboring districts in San Jacinto and Temecula. The move, coupled with a change to make the semesters similar in length, would have put finals before the winter break.

But board member Paul Bakkom, a former elementary school teacher, said he had a hard time with a threeweek break for younger students. And board member Joe Wojcik questioned the impact of family time in the summer, when a most families go on vacation.

The board also said the cost of running the air conditioning in mid-August heat would raise expenses.

Hemet Teachers Association President Jim Brigham said the union had no official stance, but he heard from more teachers who objected to the move than supported it.

“In my mind, this is the tail wagging the dog,” board member Charlotte Jones said. “We are fighting nature and good sense.”

Follow Kevin Pearson on Twitter: @pe_kevinpearson

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