One of the hottest topics each year for parents, teachers and school districts is the winter and spring breaks.
Usually dictated by the Board of Cooperative Educational Services, which has what educators refer to as a split break, there is normally one week off in the winter and another in the spring around Easter. Some districts, however, do not follow that schedule. Dunkirk is one that has a two-week break centered around Easter.
But it appears as if the city school district may be getting company. As part of the universal prekindergarten agreement between Fredonia and Dunkirk announced earlier this month, it appears one district will have to consider changing its calendar next year.
Fredonia already appears interested in making it happen for the sake of working together. "I thought I never would suggest (changing back to a two-week break) because we are most concerned about our student population and we always had the 30 to 40 high school students who are on the regional calendar and would be affected if we change back to the two-week break in April," Fredonia schools Superintendent Paul DiFonzo said last week.
But while more schools work together - Chautauqua Lake and Ripley as well as Forestville and Silver Creek - maybe it is time for BOCES to ask the district officials about what schedule they would prefer, not what BOCES dictates.
Academics are the most important aspect of the school year. But if we are to expect the schools to do more together, it would make sense for BOCES to ask those schools what calendar works best for them.
Part of what keeps schools from working together are the different schedules. A schedule with a two-week break could change the philosophies for neighboring districts in the future.
And if it means more districts working together, that can be a reward for the region as well as the students.