by Jen LoPiccolo
My husband’s 20th college reunion was this weekend and we met some of his old classmates for lunch yesterday. As they quizzed our two children on what they like to do and how they spent their weekend, my son replied, “We went to school Saturday. We made up our last snow day for the year.” A gasp echoed from around the table and one friend was quick to respond. “You had to go to SCHOOL on a SATURDAY??? That’s AWFUL.
Without missing a beat, both of my children were quick to respond in opposition. “It was fun actually,” one shared. The other one nodded and said, “Yeah, we had college day and got to move up a grade to see what 4th grade would be like.”
With record snowfall this winter, BVP lost five days of learning. With 182 days scheduled on the calendar and 180 days required by state regulation, that meant we had to find three days in our already busy academic calendar to make up the days. Two Saturdays were part of plan--May 2 and May 16. Just like any other school day, transportation was provided as was breakfast and lunch.
My scholars weren’t the only ones defending their weekend day of learning to their friends and loved ones. The BVP Parents Facebook page had multiple threads full of comments and pictures sharing their children’s excitement for the day. One parent even shared that her daughter insisted she sign her back in after going to her dance class so she didn’t miss out. Another parent was so annoyed that some districts sought waivers from the state to reduce the number of instructional days that she posted, “Where is their perseverance?!” (Perseverance is the first BVP PRIDE Value.)
The middle school captured their Saturday College Day with this #Storify. Other middle schoolers went out into the community visiting a farm, cleaning up parks and even playing bingo with the residents at Forand Manor.
BVP High School actually took over much of the CCRI Flanagan campus and took “college classes” ranging from Feminism to Survival skills. One of the professors was an actual economics professor from Bryant University, and what did Dr. Tebaldi teach? His opening college lecture for his Econ 101 course.
Elementary scholars welcomed families for a science fair May 2nd and enjoyed a special field day May 16th while others got to experience what it will be like next year by moving up a grade for part of the day.
In all, scholars and staff rose to the challenge to actively participate in academically rich activities that also taught life lessons in perseverance, the importance of helping others, and yes, that learning can happen anytime--even on a Saturday.