Archdiocese Adds 20 School Days For Catholic Elementary Schools

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles is adding 20 days to the academic year at its 210 elementary schools.

Cardinal Roger Mahony told a press conference Thursday that the three-county archdiocese is moving to a 200-day school year because of a clear relationship between substantive time in an academic setting and increased student performance.

The archdiocese says its school system is the first in California — public or private — to add 20 days. The federal mandate is 180 days.

Kevin Baxter, superintendent of the elementary schools, says the goal is to have as many campuses as possible adopt the new calendar for the 2011-2012 school year. He notes the move will result in slightly higher teacher salaries and tuition costs.

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Comments

One Comment

  1. mhk says:

    Slightly higher salaries? That seems to imply a raise? They’ll be working an additional month…so getting paid for the extra time working. Hourly, the wage is the same!

    1. JJF says:

      More is not always better. It’s challenging enough that even in Catholic school we have a longer day than most public schools and that we have to personally subsidize things lacking in school like adequate physical education time, theater, music, and other programs which eats into after school time and contributes to the “over scheduled” 21st century child. Now, kids will also lose enough downtime in summer with little chance to explore nature, other cultures, heck – even summer school if they so choose to focus on a specific interest like science or dance, whatever to enhance “the total child.” That summer is precious time for many families to reconnect and bond. The extra 20 days has been mandated across the board without any direction on how those 20 days will “enhance” education to be competitive with int’l markets. If 20 days means another book report, another chapter in a social studies book, or other extensions of what is already being taught, I say no thanks and how does that make kids more competitive with other countries? For those in lower income areas and/or working parents who welcome this, totally get it from a cost and a convenience perspective but it should be optional, not required for all and there should be a responsibility to outline exactly what will be taught in those 20 days that increases educational opportunities? Again, more is not better without any sort of direction. This is not a cookie cutter decision that families should be expected to just accept. As the Archdioses directs that parents are the ‘primary teachers” of their children and that family time is so important, how can they justify taking those 20 days away from the already busy lives of parents and children that are juggling so much to make time as a family? This should be optional not required.

      1. patricia says:

        Well said JJF. Now with all the negative response is there a plan of action from the parents and families? We as parents can band together and voice our concern and respectfully disagree. I have started calling parents to find out just how many disagree.

      2. M.F. Beck says:

        Archdiocese of Los Angeles,
        Primary educators? Isn’t this what you state parents are in your Mission Statement and Philosophy? Then why not actually live it and take into consideration that parents, too, have some strong ideas pertaining to education that does not necessarily mandate a desk, a pen or pencil, and a structured school setting. There are many, many ways to educate, so let the real “Primary Educators” take the lead during the already too short summer months and broaden their childrens’ educational experiences in ways schools could never hope to duplicate.
        Catholic schools have always been leaders in education … adding more time will not add to the already good education of the students. The theme of Catholic Schools Week says it all, “A+ For American Catholic Schools!”
        Let’s all work to keep it that way; don’t leave Catholic education, speak up and speak out.

  2. Teri George says:

    I will be pulling my child out of Catholic school. This was a horrible decision

  3. Paul says:

    20 MORE DAYS ! I remember when I was going to school. We had over 3 months off. Now we barely have time to vacation in the summer. I have 9 weekends with my oldest daughter which goes to a Catholic high school. That along with a busy work schedule, just does not help in spending quality time with the family. Now my youngest who this rule applies, will suffer, since these schools do not have A/C.

  4. Patty says:

    Higher Tuition??? I can barely afford the schools much less vacations. All my money goes to tuition and other stuff the school asks for. I like the longer school year idea, but more money. I don’t trust public schools with my kids, so for my it’s not an option. I guess we will have to cut back on other stuff.

  5. luis valdez says:

    I don’t understand people sometimes! People complain about how our students fail, but are not willing to take the steps needed to make our children succeed, which includes increasing the number of school days. I support this idea. These twenty days will allow teachers to review the needed information so we can compete against the rest of the world. Funny how we claim that we are the “best” in the world, however we rank in the 30’s for math and science. Are we truly the best when we whine and cry over adding an extra 20 days of school? Come on people, let’s get a grip and understand that there is a NEED for increasing school days in order to cover the needed material for our children to succeed in the competitive world.

    1. J S says:

      Really??? These 20 days will do nothing but burn out our children. Quality over quantity applies here. Teach more effectively. Let each individual school speak for itself. As far as I know, we live in a democratic society and this decision was made FOR us by the people whose salaries we pay. There are more parents outraged by this presumptuous and ill thought out plan than they know.

      1. :~) says:

        It is still a democracy just not in a “Private” school duh!……send your child to a public school…Its much easier there!

      2. GPD says:

        I whole heartedly agree! We were not even asked what we, the parents thought, and WE are the ones paying for their education. I got an application for a distinguished public school this morning for my 2nd grader to attend next year. It saddens me to have to pull out my child from this Catholic school in Long Beach that my children have attended for 9 years.

    2. lets Call a Spade a Spade says:

      I fully agree!!!!!!

    3. lets Call a Spade a Spade says:

      Oh, that got placed further down
      I fully agree with you luis!

    4. Concerned Parent says:

      Are schools really going to use the extra 20 days to go over information needed. First of all depending on the class, have your kids ever finished all their textbooks in a school year. And with 20 extra days are they going to finish all their books…I do not think so. So are they suppose to learn more or just slower??? All I know is that it is going to cost an extra 10%

    5. A E says:

      Well thats’s what summer school is for, the children that actually get the material should not have to suffer with the slower ones!

    6. Rottweiler says:

      My child is excelling academically. Why should she suffer because you can’t take accountability for your own child’s non-success? My child has enough days in an academically accelerated program. I would like people like you to leave decisions regarding her vacation and childhood up to me, a responsible parent. The archdiocese needs to red tag those schools who do not have a high success rate and make them pay extra tuition and spend extra days for these students only. Why don’t we try that?

  6. Unhappy says:

    Many at our school in Long Beach are upset about this decision. No one believes in letting the kids have a break, and letting the family spend quality time together. My kids are already already asking “When does summer vacation start? I’m seriously thinking of putting them in one of the better public schools in my area.

    1. LB Mom says:

      My child is also at an LB Catholic school. I have already visited the website of a nearby, high-ranking, public school.

      1. HA says:

        Visited the website of a school, huh? Making that extensive research for the future of your child right? Visiting a website will make your child’s life such a better event, not the extra TWENTY days of school!? LOL!

      2. LB Mom says:

        What I meant by that was to see what they offered as far as science, music and art programs, also the hours of the school and of course the API data.
        Obviously I would, as I hope any parent would, actually make visits before any final decision would be made.

  7. Not a bad idea afterall! says:

    Burn our children out? Really??? If kids were burnt out, they sure seem burn out when they are tagging or riding their skateboards so casually down the street. Summer school is not even an option any more for schools, due to lack of funds. So these kids will simply spend 20 days in school….Kids are pampered now in days. As an adult, do you get 3 months off, NOPE! You work all year long…our children need to know what work is really like. You want to spend quality time? Turn off the TV from the hours of 3-10 p.m.! No one voted for 180 days either, so how was that decided democratically? If your kids are asking when summer vacation begins, that just tells you how much they actually care for their knowledge and how much they look forward to watching re-runs of Jerry Springer and Maury Povich. How about we see what the results are before we judge.

    1. "Product-of-Catholic-School-and-Makes-my-own-Decisions says:

      If your kid is tagging, then you need more help than Catholic school my friend. Kids working all year long? We are talking about 5-13 year olds…hardly pampered. You sound bitter and angry. Making them work all year just might succeed in raising more of you!

      1. patricia says:

        here here

    2. Concerned Parent says:

      Apparently you do not have any kids and if you do I feel sorry for them. Because it sounds to me that you would rather keep them in school then to spend time with them. A child will only be a child for a short time so let kids get that extra time off school and spend free time during summer. After all once they hit the workplace, fun time is gone.

    3. FormerTeacher says:

      As a former Catholic School teacher, I can tell you a fact: the kids are burned out by June 1. They still have an additional three weeks after that. It’s always been a challenge to keep them interested and motivated at that time of year. Children get burned out in different ways than adults. They have trouble focusing, have anxious energy, etc.

      Also, the school I worked at only had AC in a few of the rooms and September was unbearable. It’s very difficult for students to focus when they are sweltering!

      But more importantly, children learn in many different ways, and not all of those ways are in the classroom! They need to play, explore, and be outside. I truly do not believe we are going to get healthier children from lopping off most of their summer. As valuable as school is, there is a more to LIFE than being in a classroom.

  8. Bryan says:

    This has little to do with enhancing the education of our youth. The decision is strictly motivated by the financial gain of the Archdioceses.

    1. RV says:

      How is there financial gain when teachers are getting higher salaries?

      1. Concerned Parent says:

        Just like any company, you pay the salaries and still keep the profit that is left.

      2. Bryan says:

        RV- A portion of the schools revenue is funneled back to the Archdiocese. If the school year is extended by 20 days it warrants a tuition increase. A portion of the net revenue from the extended school year will make its way into the hand of the dioceses.

      3. mah says:

        They are not getting higher salaries in the form of a raise, they are getting paid to work an extra month! Duh! The hourly wage will stay the same!

    2. lets Call a Spade a Spade says:

      I am paying $2,900 on my childs Catholic education. Debatably (not a very good debate) a better education with more structure and dicipline then any public school system. Including the ones in the “best school districts”. When a public education cost us (me included) $9,000 per child a year……So if you want to talk about “strictly motivated by the financial gain” lets start there!

      1. cathollicmom says:

        Well Said!

    3. concerned Parent says:

      I concur.

    4. Renee says:

      your comments are grossly wrong. I wish you actually knew what you were talking about. None of our school money goes into the archdioceses pocket. Our schools tuitions are not even cost based. We have no profits, money goes back into school program, trying to give our kids MORE than the public school system. And for those of you crying about Quality Time, be real, most of us working parents have 2-3 weeks vacation, and most of us have to split them from our spouses, so that the summer care is taken care of. Quality time should be all year long, not just the summer. I know my children are often bored the last few weeks of summer, and itching to go back with all their friiends the new school year.

  9. CAN says:

    We Catholic school teachers aren’t happy with this decision either. Although I am currently at the high school level this will soon impact us as well. The Archdiocese unilaterally made a decision without informing anyone this was being considered. This will have a negative outcome on many families who can barely afford tuition as it is. It mandates teachers work another month that they were unaware of as well. Day care problems occur for those with younger children, and for teachers themselves who have to work an additional month. Let’s look at the first graduating class under this new mandate. The school year will end around June 22. Summer school for remediation or to get ahead begins generally the following Monday so there is only a weekend “break.” Summer school continues through the end of July so that leaves roughly 3 weeks of “vacation” before school begins in mid to late August. Year round school would be a better option with balanced breaks throughout the year to avoid burnout. Yes, kids face too much pressure. just today a parent asked “wasn’t there something else my daughter could have done to get an A?” The pressure kids get isn’t just from school but, also, from parents high expectations. The answer to whatever “problem” the Archdiocese feels exists, is not in adding more days to the school year but in making better use of the time already in place.

    1. mah says:

      I agree!! Talk about blindsided! We were liiterally left speechless at this announcement. The Catholic Church has traditionally been so pro union, but does not offer its teachers any such recourse, or representation. This decision was made by people who are not even in the classroom. But to disagree publicly will get you fired! Or at least that’s the threat. And so what if we quit after years with the archdiocese, there are tons of out-of-work teachers looking for job! And where would we go? Adding an additional 20 days to already high performing schools will not really do anything. Let low performing schools adopt this schedule if they see fit, but why is iit being mandated without any feedback from parents and teachers first,. Why was it kept such a big secret from the people it will affect the most? Something does not ring true about the rationale they are giving!

    2. Margaret says:

      I am a starting a petition drive, urging the Archdiocese to reconsider this decision. Please circulate my email among other teachers and families. I will be sending out a link to an online petition. Let’s rein in this stupidity.

      patblackwell@earthlink.net

  10. Bitter says:

    Once again a top down, unilateral decision dictated from on high. In addition to the 20 days, the Catholic school year now starts before Labor Day in line with public schools, so there goes the easier and cheaper vacation dates around Labor Day when the public kids are in school. Also, how many more half-days are the Catholic schools going to have for “teacher enhancement days.” I bet the 20 days are negated by all of the the half days which just make it more difficult for parents to find daycare or babysitters for the half days.

  11. Reality says:

    Let’s be honest and think about what our children do in summer—if going to school in a nuturing, enriching environment is negative- what is sitting in front of a tv or computer or playing video games? Frankly as a working parent, I think this is an ideal situation. I expect the teachers to use this time wisely and continue to teach my children. As for a salary increase—of course the teachers should be compensated —I would not work 20 more days a year for free.

  12. Calm down people! says:

    How much does a daycare facility charge for a month of taking care of your child? I am sure that it is more expensive than a month of tuition. Everything will be ok people! It’s only 20 extra days of school…not an extra 60. Do the math, with 200 days of school, that means kids will have another 165 days of picking their noses and scratching their rears!

    1. eec says:

      Obviously not someone affected by this.

    2. Concerned Parent says:

      What about the kids, it is one thing as adults working 40+ hours a week to put food on the table. But as a kid, they need to have that free time away from school to do other things then stringent academics. I don’t know about your kids school, by mine is giving at the least two hours of homework a night as well as the weekends. So add another 20 days to that… they are just going to stress out and possibly burn out on school…I am contemplating other alternatives for school.

    3. LB Mom says:

      What about the families who do not need and therefore do not pay for daycare? While I agree, for those families with their kids in daycare it won’t be much of a financial issue, but for me – I don’t pay for daycare during the summer so this is an added strain in an already difficult time.

    4. "Product-of-Catholic-School-and-Makes-my-own-Decisions says:

      Have you even considered that a month of daycare is a tax deductible option for you, but the tuition is NOT? So that’s even more money out of your pockets. Not to mention those of us who do not need those services! A month of tuition times my three children at a 10% raise = approx $1500. If you were paying for daycare at even $1600 for a month, that is a minimum of $320 credit you are losing for that month. Now there are many other factors involved to determine eligibility but bottom line is DAYCARE WOULD HAVE BEEN CHEAPER FOR MOST PEOPLE!!

    5. mah says:

      Who says everyone is paying for daycare? As shocking as it may sound, there are some families that have a parent home to watch the children. And why is it that I should allow someone else to decide how I should spend my time and money with my children? And yes, it’s true, I can pull my kids from Catholic School, and likely will.

  13. Brenda Jauregui Hernandez says:

    So what if they add 20 days, most parents say that it is hard for them to find someone to take care of their children and especially for older children and that they do not want them just sitting at home doing nothing. We pay for an education because we want our children to get an education with a religious foundation. I think that it is more the adults than the children who are worried about “summer vacation.”

    1. eec says:

      Again, someone probably not affected by this.

      1. Margaret says:

        so right about that.

    2. concerned Parent says:

      So make the 20 days optional and a separate fee. I think that is what they call summer school. Some parents would rather not burn out their kids on school. I pay for a religious education for my kids also, but I do not want them to burn out on school.

  14. SJR says:

    I think it is a great decision. Though there will be an increase in tuition, it is to cover the costs associated with having the school open for the extra days. Teacher’s will be working, and electricity and water will be used. I was a catholic school student from elementary school all the way through high school and I must admit that was my parents best investment, fueling my decision to do the same. The education you receive at a private school is far better and more advanced than what is offered in a public school setting. An extra 20 days will not harm them, rather it will put them 20 days ahead of other kids a year. How well a child does in school is not just a reflection of their teachers, but also a reflection of how much a parent is a willing to input as well.

  15. Concerned Parent says:

    I feel that this is the Archdiocese’s way of masking 20 days of child care as days of school. Also way to create a 10% raise in revenue. Do the math 10% raise times 220 schools. We all know that most of the money does stay in the school. Some of the income goes to the Church and from the Church goes to the Archdiocese

    1. Concerned about people's math says:

      Have you thought that the 10% will cover teacher and supple costs?

      1. Concerned Parent says:

        Of course the 10% will more than cover salaries, as for my school, my kids have to bring there own supplies. About 5% will go back to the salaries of the school the other 5% will be distributed between the parish church and back to the archdiocese. Apparently someone else has a problem with the math

      2. Unhappy says:

        I have to pay $350 a year for my child’s supplies, that’s in addition to the over $3,700 in tuition!

  16. Not Fair says:

    Why is the assumption that kids don’t do anything during Summer or weekends? This statement simply does not apply to many families! What about sports? Science Fair? Summer Camps (which I might like to point out that they can be educational)? School for a second language on Saturdays? Putting students in an environment like this is absolutely not necessary and if there are struggling students, then put them in summer school or create a remedial program or hire a tutor. There is enough work being given in some of the more competitive Catholic schools out there and adding more work will simply make people burn out from the workload. I do not agree in the slightest with this decision, especially when they did not give parents a chance to consider other private schools (most private schools closed their applications already).

  17. Too Late for Changes says:

    I totally agree! It is the unfairness of the timing that is ridiculous. Jam it down our throats, make sure we have no time to make other decisions and that is the Archdiocese policy! Where were the public forums? We are stuck with the decision of a few people affecting 51,000 students..is that fair? Let us have at least a year to make other arrangements, but even that is not an option. As for the increased tuition..is it not a way to pay for the lawsuits of past years? We should have known better from previous experience.

  18. Mrs. M says:

    As former Catholic school teacher, I am all for this decision. Let’s all be realistic. Although some of the kids do have a lot of extra curricular activities outside of school hours, others do not. (But that is besides the point right now) Sports are very important because they allow students to be physically active and make the children more well rounded individuals. The same goes for clubs, music, etc. Everything extra is beneficial to the students. With that said, the majority of the students will benefit from having twenty extra school days. As a teacher, I tried to use every single little minute of my class to teach the students as much as a I possibly could. However, when we measure the understanding of our students through standardized testing and compare their results to other students in the county, our students in California are really behind. Many parents send their students to Catholic schools because of the rigor and dicipline they provide. Which makes me question why they have such a hard time understanding that more class time is more beneficial.

    I knew many of my students who would be enrolled in Summer school, daycare, have babysitters, or be in day programs. Don’t all of these cost money as well? Isn’t it a better idea to use the money and time and bring more knowledge to the students?

    Our students are behind and they need to put in the time. Schools across the world have 6 day weeks with only a few weeks off during the year and we want to compete with these populations and not put in the time? Its absurd.

    As for teachers am making more money. All that will happen is that teachers will work one more month and be paid one more month. If the Archdiocese wanted to make money off of this, they would cut teachers, raise the number of students in each classroom and not pay the teachers for their extra work month, cut aides, other school employees, not use lights, water, paper, etc. and just keep the kids in a dark room. Ok, I know this will never happen. But come on people. This is a good thing! More school hours means more knowledge!

    1. Current Catholic School Teacher says:

      And the reason you are a “former” Catholic school teacher?

      This is not the kind of decision the Dept of Catholic Schools should make with little time for parents to explore other options – or teachers for that matter who may decide they don’t want to work an additional month for whatever reason (family, vacation, “burn out”, etc). This is an attempt to capatalize on the fact that public schools are cutting days with the hopes of increasing enrollment from families who don’t like the shorter school year. So, what will that mean? Possible larger class sizes which does no one good. Our school brought in two portable classrooms this year already and we are still busting at the seams with no more room and no additional teachers, just additional students.

      Let’s fix the “problem” within our time frame now before we add days to the school year and still have the same “problems.” Fix what is considered broken before creating a bigger mess as is currently being done. Do away with half-days and non-instructional assemblies, events, etc. Why do so many elementary schools end at 12 on Friday every week? Faculty meetings don’t need to take place that frequently.

      There are many other options than secretly plotting against the teachers, parents and teachers of our Catholic elementary schools.

      1. SFX parent says:

        Amen!! I agree, fix what we have don’t add more problems. It’s not fair and I’m very upset!

    2. mah says:

      Your defense of the additional 20 days is ridiculous and does not apply to MANY families! Because some families pay for babysitters, ALL families should have to buy into this 20 extra days? When did the schools become a less expensive day care option?

  19. LB Mom says:

    The majority of Friday’s at my child’s school are only half days – why not make them full days if they are so concerned about academics???

    1. Concerned Parent says:

      That makes absolute sense. In fact we are talking about increasing days of schools, but how many hours will they actually be in school?

      1. jv says:

        Agreed. If there is a concern on the amount of time spent educating, could we start w/ the number of half-days?

    2. sc says:

      This will definitely burn these kids out. I’m glad my daughter will be out of Catholic high school by then. If we are so far behind in our education, do you think it wise to hire more qualified teachers? It seems that our curriculum is based on getting through it as best they can with no time left over for innovation and fun. Times are changing and we don’t care about the dioramas of an Indian village or the 8 page reports on your family history.Why do they have so much homework? If you excite them in class they will learn and retain information. If this is going to happen, for the extra cost you better have a great educational plan because the public schools are hitting the target right now. Kids used to have so much fun, playing in the streets, riding bikes, watching stupid cartoons, etc., unless you are under 9 you won’t be doing this anymore. You will be doing homework, in some organized, money sucking, time consuming sport and learning to be anti-social. Please don’t take away anymore of their “life” time.

  20. lets Call a Spade a Spade says:

    We should be ashamed of ourselves! Dont worry our shame will shine through brightly soon enough, when our children can not compete in the economic function with the rest of the world. Other countries have all ready counted America out as even a contender in the economic future due to our sub par education. BUILD BETTER SCHOOLS OR BUILD MORE JAILS its a choice. So stop buying more then you need, drive your car tell its unrepairable and Vacations = camping. Invest in your children not your image. Pay now or pay later people.

  21. Margaret says:

    As a parent and former teacher I find this decision beyond disturbing.

    The total education and formation of children should include free time, especially outside. We used to know this but now our kids are institutionalized at a very tender age and they are scheduled to the hilt. And we wonder why all they want to do in their free time is zone out in front of a video screen. Those kids who rebel against this are a “problem”, generally diagnosed as ADD/ADHD. and put on drugs. What’s wrong with our culture is not going to be fixed by more time in school. It will make it worse.

    Mahony needs a refresher course in Aristotelian logic. Correlation does not equal causation. Simply because other countries have higher test and IQ scores as well as longer school years does not mean the latter caused the former. Could other factors be in play here? Intact families? Less computer, TV, cell phone time?
    Something else to note: Most of these countries are not predominantly Catholic. The educational traditions of Western Civilization are founded on the Catholic principle that parents are the primary educators of their children. More time away from them is contrary to this teaching.

    Catholic or public, schools in this country spent fewer days in school and had shorter days than they do today with less homework. Ask anyone who went to school before 1950. America has led the world for 200 years in invention and innovation. It has produced the greatest advances in nearly every discipline. We didn’t do that by decreasing children’s free time.

    Children are not computers with inexhaustible memory. More school hours does not equal more acquisition of knowledge and anyone peddling that notion is utterly insensible to the ontological process of children. THEY DO BURN OUT.

    Ask yourself the question: If man by nature desires to know, why do most kids hate school?

    Catholicism has been the foundation of Western education for hundreds of years. It’s done a damn good job. Forsaking 2000 years of that tradition for the Dewey theory of education which was designed to undermine the influence of the home is a travesty. That it should come from Mahony is, sadly, no surprise. This parting gift of his is in keeping with his past blatant disregard for the protection of children.

    I will investigate other options for our children if this isn’t stopped but I’m not going without a fight. I am spearheading a petition campaign to have this reversed. If interested please contact me at patblackwell@earthlink.net.

    I have high expectations that our incoming bishop will not look favorably on this decision by his predecessor. There is hope.

  22. Ramona Mcmillan Nanni says:

    I am so furious at this decision! I am a widow & cherish the time I have with my 10yr old daughter. I went to Catholic school as a child & had great memories. Catholic school is a nightmare now. With all the money they hit us up for during the year plus the $4300yr tuition for fourth grade, you think they’d have the courtesy to ask us our opinion. They are acting like dictators. Our children are only little for such a short time. My daughters all I have left & I want to enjoy those lazy days of summer with her like I did as a kid. She is a straight A student anyway. I enjoy taking her to europe to experience & learn new things. Its important that she grows in many different ways. I have a trip already booked to Rome to see the. Vatican for May 21st. Now what am I suppose to do? Guess I’ll forget Italy & visit other private Christian schools who will appreciate my Money & opinion!!! I’m tired of people telling us what to do. Last time I checked we were a Free Country, guess the archdiocese doesn’t care. Sooooo Sad!!😦

  23. Ramona Mcmillan Nanni says:

    I am so furious at this decision! I am a widow & cherish the time I have with my 10yr old daughter. I went to Catholic school as a child & had great memories. Catholic school is a nightmare now. With all the money they hit us up for during the year plus the $4300yr tuition for fourth grade, you think they’d have the courtesy to ask us our opinion. They are acting like dictators. Our children are only little for such a short time. My daughters all I have left & I want to enjoy those lazy days of summer with her like I did as a kid. She is a straight A student anyway. I enjoy taking her to europe to experience & learn new things. Its important that she grows in many different ways. I have a trip already booked to Rome to see the. Vatican for late May. Now what am I suppose to do? Guess I’ll forget Italy & visit other private Christian schools who will appreciate my Money & opinion!!! I’m tired of people telling us what to do. Last time I checked we were a Free Country, guess the archdiocese doesn’t care. Sooooo Sad!!😦

  24. Very Considered Parent says:

    In my opinion, increasing our school year by 20 days is just a publicity blitz to assist enrollment in lower income schools. Our children, parents, teachers, priests were not even consulted in this plan. Shouldn’t they have a say in our children’s education? I do agree that within our own diocese there are schools that are thriving and schools that are not. However, since we current all go the same number of days, will increasing the school year really solve the problem? Granted something should be changed for the schools that are not testing as well, but why try to fix a school that doesn’t have a problem. Every parent I have spoken to (at my school and others in our immediate area) has issues with this topic, and I would think that it would be more effective to keep the existing families happy rather than to have to find new enrollments. A good tuition needs parent involvement, not more time in school. If children are in school over 7 hours per day and have 2-3 hours of homework each night (as my jr. high child does) when do they have the time to play, relax or participate in sports or hobbies? Let our children be children!

  25. denise says:

    As a current Catholic school parent of a 4th and 7th grader I am outraged and offended by this decision! Completely Agree with Margaret and I will be contacting you!!! Complete disrespect to our children and families, words cannot express the frustration with the incompetancy of this decision. The basic concept ” quality over quantity” needs to be explored. Our children’s health and wellbeing need to be the first priority. Seriously, our children have received an excellent education and it has been very hard to maintain a healthy balance with the hight academic pressure and homework as it is, It is vital that our children are enriched with experiences life offer outside the classroom with their family and friends. Instituting 20 additional days, not just classroom hours, but evenings and weekends of homework & studying. This is robbing them of the the little time they have to develop and foster the needs of the “whole” child.Have they looked at the research and studies of what is happening in our culture with anxiety and depression for children whom have so much acadamia pressure! Our schools test scores are excellent and our 8th graders get into any high school of their choice, then further there education getting into excellent colleges. Seriously, this makes no sense, it is very very sad. I urge all parents and educators to please check out the webiste http://www.racetonowhere.com for an eye opening, thought provocking look at what is happending to our children and teens. The future of our country. As a side note, this may be a good plan for some two working parent families, but it does not only involve 20 school hr days, it also encludes nights and weekends. that is an entire month. And it isn’t doing any favors for families who are paying childcare cost as they will not be able to write off tuition as they can now when you pay for childcare. And for families who are struggling to pay for tuition now are going to have it increase? I have given up a career to be able to support and be with my children as much as possible and financially it has been very very hard, what now go back to work to pay the Catholic institution because they think my A and B students children need to work harder and be away from their families, I Don’t Think So!!!

    1. unhappy says:

      Absolutely! The parents in our school are having a meeting about this next week, and are getting ready to bombard the Archdiocese with letters and a demand to change this mandate. This is what needs to happen at all schools for the Archdiocese to get the message. I’m hoping and praying other schools are doing the same.

    2. mac says:

      I could not agree with you more, Denise! In addition, I take offence to the statement in Dr. Kevin Baxter’s letter to the parents stating ” The expectation is that no families will leave any of our schools because of an increased cost.” Does the Archdiocese not realize that these are very difficult financial times for everyone right now? Many families are already stuggling to pay the current tuition, schools are closing, have very low enrollment or combining campuses. I agree with quality over quantity!

      1. Concerned Parent says:

        Mac, I am sure that Dr. Baxter was sincere in saying that families would not be put out in the cold by increased costs. But the money to subsidize would have to come from somewhere. When you look at the Los Angeles Archdiocese is covers a wide area as well as a demographic that is very diverse. Therefore the school parents that can afford a Catholic Education in more affluent areas would be asked to pick up the slack. Of course not directly, but in ways that the Archdiocese would make it to seem that these parents were helping their school rather than somewhere else. After all salaries are paid and operating expenses are taken care of, the excess money (profit) goes to the archdiocese for them to decide who needs it the most. And rest assured after all is said and done, the Archdiocese still comes out with something in their pocket.

  26. CatholicMom says:

    “The Tiger Archdiocese”

    Bullying and self-serving under the guise of good intentions. Disgraceful.

  27. MIC says:

    this decision is outrageous. It is not the time to do this. Many families are making the sacrafice to pay the tution and this will not help. I went to the catholic school my daughters go to and we use to have 30 plus students and now they are luck if they have 25. Just a few years ago my daughter’s knder class had 40 students and now there is only 28. There is one empty classroom and more will follow if they don’t change their minds. I like others that have commented don’t need child care in the summer. We look foward to the summer months where we spend time together eiither in vacation or just at home. My daughters already excel, they don’t need the 20 days. My girls don’t spend the summer just watching TV. They play sports do dance class etc. They are going to burn them out!!! All points are true cut the 10 mini days a year. I am a teacher in the public school system and its all about QUALITY and no QUANTATY. Here we are cutting days becasue of the time we are living and they are adding more days which will cause a financial hardship to families. People are getting pay cuts, paying more for medical having to take mandated days off at work. We must come together to change this. They didn;t ask us so lets get toether to change it.

  28. Proud of Catholic Schools says:

    My child goes to Catholic school in LB. We are pleased with this decision and the church having the foresight to educate our children when so many others in private and public education have only fought about it for years. I respectfully submit that everyone study the results of extra school days throughout the world and here at home before commenting of the cuff. Especially be careful what you say in front of these kids. They may dislike it only becasue you dislike it. I am proud to have my child in Catholic school right now and he knows it and is also proud.

    1. denise says:

      I too have always and continue to be a proud parent of Catholic schools as are my children, that is a separate issue. Our children were informed of this before the parents were, this was very unsettling. Many of the parents were trying to comfort their upset children that evening. Of course handlling in a mature manner yet letting our children know we supported and cared about how they felt. I love our school but I love my children more!

  29. CMS says:

    Pasadena is steaming too! Our 8th graders feed into the finest high schools in Los Angeles! The children and teachers work so hard all school yr. and come June we are done. I left a job I loved to be a stay at home mom and raise our kids. We spend our Summers engaged in unstructured, creative play. Time to unwind with family and friends. The parents are livid that the ARCH. made such a huge decision financially and emotionally without contacting the Principals or parents first. Write and call KEVIN BAXTER , our Superintendent (213) 637-7300 and the press and let them know how you feel. This was done to fill bodies in the inner schools and PR for the church.

    1. DMG says:

      CMS absolutely! and good for your catholic school sticking together to protest! A few of ares are doing the same, but not heaing the uproar I would have expected!!

    2. mah says:

      Perfectly said CMS! Why was this decision shrouded in such secrecy? Obvioulsy, if they thought it was going to be received well by the schools that float the boat for the rest of the lower performing schools, it would NOT have been such a well-kept secret by people not in the classroom or paying the tuition!

    3. mac says:

      Good luck getting through to Dr. Baxter. A very rude representative returned the call and I refused to speak with her. Then spoke with Yolanda Valencia, who was very gracious; howver, have yet to get a returned call from Dr. Baxter. I plan to continue calling!

  30. Catholic School Teacher says:

    Last night the Catholic Elementary schools in the San Fernando Deanery were told that their schools would NOT be going to 200 days for the upcoming school year after all, however, they are expected to the following year.

  31. Amero says:

    How many more days of education does it take to sell an iPhone?

    The United States has evolved from a manufacturing superpower to a consumer based economy that’s struggling to make ends meet in this Great Recession. During the Smokestack Industries of yesterday, a high school educated individual would be able to find employment, and achieve the American Dream. Today, a college educated individual would be hard-pressed to attain the same living standard a high school educated individual had in the 70’s. You remember when the cost of a house was around $50,000, a car was $3,500, junior college was free, and the US Dollar still had some value!

    Today when I stop by the AT&T store I’m greeted by a college educated individual who’s struggling to pay off his/her student loan, and living at home with mom and dad if their lucky.

    The Catholic Church in general, and Los Angeles Archdioceses in particular are seriously out of touch with reality! Parents are struggling to make ends meet to pay for tuitions as it is! Let the kids enjoy their childhoods, their only kids once, and unless there’s some serious hope and change in this country, they’re going to have to learn to think outside of the box to make a living!

    1. Concerned Parent says:

      Amero, I could not have stated any better. You are right on the nose.

  32. Catholic School Teacher says:

    This is from a parent at St Paul’s in Westwood.
    Subject:Protest at Archdiocese on Thursday

    Hello,
    I wanted to tell you about an upcoming chance to express your opposition to the Archdiocese increase in the number of days of school.

    Thursday 2/3 at 8:30 am–protest at the Archdiocese (3424 Wilshire Blvd (Between Normandy & Vermont, next to the former Ambassador Hotel). Make a sign or picket if you can.

    I am going to talk to others this week–please do so too. We really need the Archdiocese to know how many families are against this measure. Also if you could take a moment and forward this e-mail to others who also oppose this measure–including friends you have at other schools. If they can’t go, please encourage them to write letters to Kevin Baxter, (Dr. Kevin Baxter, Superintendent of Elementary Schools, Archdiocese of Los Angeles, Department of Catholic Schools, 3424 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90010-2202).

    Thanks so much,

  33. mac says:

    My hats off to Channel 2 and 9 reporting this story mearly as it did…shame on Channel 7 who interviewed ONE parent who was all for this change! There are always two sides to every story and ALOT of us unhappy with the decision!

  34. patricia says:

    I hope that all of you against the 20 day extended school year will be at the protest this thurs Feb 3 at 830 am at the Los Angeles Archdioceses at 3424 Wilshire Blvd.

    1. Amero says:

      My wife and I will be there with bells on! I’m telling you guys right now, the Catholic Machine is a tuff nut to crack once they get their mind set on something! It might be the 21st Century, but the Church is steeped in tradition, and the higher ups don’t care for uprisings from the common folk.

  35. ANGRY at this Obvious FARCE says:

    The tuition will get higher especially because of all the children that will be pulled out of the schools! This is highly unnecessary, if a child needs extra help then send him/her to SUMMER SCHOOL that’s what it’s there for! The excuse that it “gives teachers more time to go over the material” makes no sense at all!!!
    Most schools even have an extra week at the end, adding 20 extra days will just make the proccess slower, not to mention the material may become too repetative. If it does become too competative, then the brain might begin to turn off to it, thinking to its subconscience “other people already know this it’s not important.

    Longer school years= tired, depressed, overworked, DUMBER, frustrated students without family bonds or “a life.”

    The Family is very important indeed, (yeah right!!!!) and i’m a purple unicorn named Pablo!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. Angry says:

      sorry for any mistakes above, darn ipod auto correct

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