N-MUSD Trustee Vicki Snell has responded on Facebook to some information posted by a third party about the district’s proposed Collegiate Calendar. She wrote:

“A few corrections…the suggestion for the calendar change came from the student advisory committee and the calendar committee. The calendar committee is a long standing and made up of representatives from the teachers union, classified union, PTA, parents, staff and administration and they decide on calendar each year (about 20 members). The Board approves and rarely changes their recommendation. They have been exploring this new calendar for several years for the benefit of the students. NMUSD and Laguna are the only districts in Orange County that start school after Labor Day. All the reasons why or why not are being explored by the committee and additional input was requested at the four meetings this past month. The community can also write emails to the District. After they come up with their final recommendation, it goes before the two unions to decide if they will support. Without their support, this does not happen. I suggest you watch Barry’s video (link below) from the last meeting at Estancia to listen to presentation for yourself.”

Hmmm. I have some comments and corrections of her corrections…

First, I almost spilled coffee out of my nose when I read that, “The Board approves and rarely changes their [Calendar Committee] recommendation.” Snell, of course, does not realize that she just offered another area in which the board just rubber stamps whatever is presented to them.

Second: “They [Calendar Committee] have been exploring this new calendar for several years for the benefit of the students.” They have conducted several years of exploration, but are unable to come up any evidence – nothing – showing that the calendar will improve academic performance.

Third: “NMUSD and Laguna are the only districts in Orange County that start school after Labor Day.” This is factually incorrect. There are 28 school districts in the county, 14 of which are unified school districts. Of the remaining 14 there are a few others that start after Labor Day.  The unified school districts do represent districts more similar to ours.

Fourth: All the reasons why or why not are being explored by the committee and additional input was requested at the four meetings this past month.” False. The Calendar Committee will approve the new schedule without reviewing data from other districts across the U.S. They will not have polled the business community to determine the effect on the local economy (winners and losers and the net result) and teen summer job prospects. At least two-thirds of our students do not take AP courses and don’t care about an earlier start. These kids, thousands of them, depend on summer jobs for income – with some contributing to their families. These will not be listed in the “why not” section of the Calendar Committee report.

Fifth: Here is the guarantee, in writing: After they come up with their final recommendation, it goes before the two unions to decide if they will support. Without their support, this does not happen. So there you have it, if one of the unions nixes this, it ain’t gonna happen.

Vicki Snell said so.

Steve Smith
Taxpayer, N-MUSD

P.S. Here’s the link to the video that Snell mentioned: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=obOYriORadQ. Actually, I’m glad she pointed it out. If you watch, take careful note of any evidence or data that is presented that shows that the new calendar improves academic performance or AP performance. SPOILER ALERT! – There isn’t any.

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