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I hate uncertainty. I like to have a calendar all laid out, dates planned in advance, things booked early, etc. Obviously, the pandemic of 2020 has thrown a real wrench into my plans.
But I’ve discovered it’s not just this spring’s schedule that’s being thrown all out of whack. It’s my entire vacation calendar for at least the next year. Why?
Our school district hasn’t communicated how school will be in the fall. We don’t know if it will be deemed safe to have normal in-person school classes, or if kids will have to continue doing eLearning from home, or some hybrid. But, the governing body for Texas schools has given some recommendations that have caused an uproar in the school community.
TEA Recommendations on School Calendars
The Texas Education Agency recently provided guidance to school districts in Texas on how to prepare for possible disruptions in the upcoming school year due to the pandemic. The agency recommended a variety of changes to the traditional school calendars we are used to.
One recommendation, called the Intercessional Calendar, calls for starting school at the beginning of August and ending in late June. Instead of a long summer break, the calendar distributes breaks during the winter months when the possibility of a Covid-19 resurgence is more likely.
Another option recommended by the TEA is a year-round school calendar with shorter breaks mixed in throughout the year. I attended year-round school from kindergarten through 8th grade, and it wasn’t all bad. We had 4 months on and 2 months off, and my family got to travel during non-peak travel times. The current recommendation is to have 6-week sessions with much shorter breaks in between. It would be a huge adjustment for everyone.
School District Survey
Of course, when these TEA recommendations came out, parents panicked. Both calendars would be a huge change from our current school calendar. It seems a little late to tell people that we have to go back to school 2 weeks earlier than planned and get out 4 weeks later than planned.
My kids’ school district just sent out a survey to the parents. While it didn’t discuss start and end dates, the survey did ask for our comfort level on sending kids back to school with the current virus numbers. The questions revolved around our preferences for 100% eLearning, 100% in-person or a hybrid version. I am very curious about the results.
Vacations in Jeopardy
Since the school calendar we’ve had for six months may no longer be valid, obviously that throws our vacation plans into jeopardy. This October, I have another cabin booked in Broken Bow during a 4-day weekend. That weekend may not be a school break anymore.
Then there is our Disney World trip. We were supposed to be at Disney World and Universal this week. Instead, we were able to change our DVC reservation to next May/June. But, with a late end-date or a year-round schedule, we may still be in school. I’d rather not go to Disney World over July 4th week, and earlier in the summer is usually slightly cooler weather.
Of course, we will adjust. Moving or losing vacations isn’t the end of the world, especially in light of all that’s going on in the U.S. right now.
Has your school district nailed down a new calendar for the upcoming school year? Will you need to rearrange your family vacations to accommodate?
Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.
Nancy lives near Dallas, Texas, with her husband and three kids. Her favorite vacations include the beach, cruising and everything Disney.