Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Another of the Last Times

Today is the last "regular" Wednesday of the academic year at the American school the girls attend here in England. Next Wednesday is the last day of finals and school year. Therefore, this is the last Wednesday the girls will be able to squeeze in an extra hour of sleep thanks to weekly late starts.

It really is a cool idea. Every Wednesday, the faculty holds their weekly meetings during the first hour of a typical school day. Therefore, the students don't need to be on campus until that ends. Instead of the bus picking the girls up at 7:40, they don't leave the house until 8:40.

From a teacher's perspective, this is lovely. Back in Texas, faculty meetings have always been held the hour before school begins (on 2 campuses where I taught) or the hour after school ends (on 3 campuses where I taught). However, I don't imagine that would work in the US. Public schools are bound by laws that dictate how long the school year must be. 

Luckily, it appears our current school doesn't have to abide by the same number of instruction days. I would love for our school district to be able to adopt an academic calendar that includes a week off in October as well as February for travel. We have thoroughly taken advantage of this every year since moving to England, filling that time with various cruises and trips. Back in Texas, the kids get off a day in October but teachers have staff development. In February, teachers get off with the kids for President's Day. Ooh - one whole day. With the bro-in-law's ski condo located way up in Red River, that's a lot of driving for very little snow time.

We're staring down the last of the lasts - a party for both girls this weekend, final exams early next week, a goodbye sleepover for the 6th grader and graduation. No doubt it will sting a bit as we get immersed in the bittersweet of putting our expat experience in the rear view mirror. 

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