Written by Morgan Stein
It’s every parent’s scheduling nightmare: more than one child at more than one school. District schedules conflict, vacations don’t line up, and scheduling that long needed getaway requires more effort than a regular job. However, school districts are trying harder than ever to communicate and line up vacation breaks with each other.
There are four elementary school districts in the Santa Clarita Valley, Saugus Union School District, Castaic Union School District, Newhall School District, and Sulphur Springs School District; whereas there is only one junior high and high school district, William S. Hart Union School District.
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Problems arise for many families with more than one child when a younger child is a student in an elementary school district and an older one is in the high school district.
In the Santa Clarita Valley, no two school districts have the exact same schedule, creating unnecessary hassles for parents, students, and teachers alike. There is more overlap between schedules now than there has been in the past, part of a conscious effort to lessen the difficulties parents, students, and teachers face due to conflicting schedules on the part of every SCV school district.
The Saugus, Castaic, and Hart districts have managed to completely sync their spring breaks, set for March 31 – April 8 for the upcoming 2011-2012 school year. The Newhall district spring break runs March 24 – April 8, offering a few more days and possibly avoiding conflicts. Sulphur Springs’ break is the shortest, scheduled for April 4-8.
These conflicts have been a major issue in the past for SCV families. Not only are trips almost impossible to make, but working parents must take off extra time when their children’s school breaks do not match up.
This is an especially important issue in today’s economy, where in many households, both parents work and cannot afford to take extra time off just because mismatched vacation times mean a span of a full week instead of four days. SCV school districts have taken these concerns into consideration, making the effort to communicate with each other to lessen the stress on families with multiple children at multiple schools.
Winter vacations are easier for school districts to line up, mainly because everyone receives the period from Christmas to New Year’s off. While the Newhall District and Hart District have the same break, December 23-January 15, Saugus District breaks from December 22-January 12, Castaic District from December 23-Janary 8, and Sulphur Springs School District from December 20-January 8. These vacation dates have become closer through a great effort by administrators in each district.
Any scheduling discrepancies are not due to thoughtlessness on the part of the districts. On the contrary; according to Merry Martinez in the Sulphur Springs School District’s superintendent’s office.
“There is a lot of effort put into aligning the break schedule with that of the Hart District,” Martinez said. “A perfect match is not always possible.”