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A school year for today's needs

Regarding the merits of beginning the school year after Labor Day, the current schedule is based on agricultural needs that date back to the early years of the last century ("Mixing school calendar with partisan politics," Dec. 15).

A better alternative would be year-round education with classes beginning in August and then having nine-week sessions followed by three weeks off all year. Everyone would be off in July.

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Thus students could get remedial help after nine weeks instead of waiting for the summer. Students and teachers could make doctor's appointments and other plans during the three-week "intercessions" instead of having to take off during class time. And teachers wouldn't have to spend several weeks in September doing review work.

Field trips could be scheduled during the intercession period instead of missing class time. Family vacations could be taken at times other than Christmas, Easter and summer break. Teachers wouldn't need to take "mental health" days knowing that a three-week vacation was only weeks away.

Does anyone doubt that juvenile crime could be reduced if students were not out of school for up to 10 weeks in the summer? The only people who would oppose this plan would be groups like camps and resorts, and they would do so for wholly non-educational reasons.

Jonathan Jacobson

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