BY MAIRE O’NEILL
The results of a Los Alamos Public Schools survey on the option of extending the LAPS school year by 10 days and/or 25 days through an Extended Learning Time Program or K-6+ indicate that a large majority of district staff, parents, community members and 7th-12th grade respondents are not in favor of adding any additional days at all.
Background on the proposed additional days may be found at: https://losalamosreporter.com/2021/04/28/los-alamos-public-schools-to-seek-input-from-staff-and-parents-on-adding-learning-days-to-2021-2022-calendar/ https://losalamosreporter.com/2021/04/28/los-alamos-public-schools-to-seek-input-from-staff-and-parents-on-adding-learning-days-to-2021-2022-calendar/
The results of the survey are presented in the agenda packet for Tuesday’s school board meeting. The meeting may viewed on Zoom at https://zoom.us/j/92429653818?pwd=RWJXZlMvd3owbkhYdDBoUU1NZlp6Zz09#success beginning at 5:30 p.m.
79.1 percent of teachers and staff do not want any additional days. There were 469 responses and the themes of comments were as follows:
- This year has been complicated and challenging. Many schedule changes took place.
- Staff members are tired and need time to regroup and recharge.
- 10 days, 25 days won’t make up for the last five quarters. Quality of instruction is more important than quantity of days.
74.9 percent of parents and community members do not want any additional days. There were 686 responses and the themes of comments were as follows:
- The timing of posing the question of adding more days to the school year was poor.
- A balanced calendar, without adding extra days, should be considered.
- Summer is a time to recharge, be outside, travel and learn things you can’t learn in school.
71.7 percent of 7th– 12th grade students do not want any additional days. There were only 169 responses and the themes of comments were as follows:
- Any extra days should be used for social activities, individual help, remote learning days and test prep sessions.
- Students want to enjoy summer without school.
- Summer break promotes social emotional balance and well-being.
Public comment to the board included the following themes:
- Extended School Year would interfere with family time and summer travel.
- Additional school days will have a negative impact on student and teacher mental health.
- Additional days will interfere with community businesses that rely on students to work and summer camps for students.
- There was some interest in optional additional days.
Tuesday’s agenda packet looks like the board may opt to establish a School Calendar Research and Design Team to prepare and report on a set of recommendations to be presented to the board in March 2022 following the state legislative session.