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Washoe County Schools’ Balanced Calendar: Yay or Nay?

I don’t think I’m the only one that breathed a sigh of relief this Monday as my daughter headed out the door to catch the bus and we could start to get back into a normal routine again.

Is it just me, or was that three week plus one day long winter break REALLY LONG?! This being our first three week break on the Washoe County School District’s Balanced Calendar, I wonder – was I the only working mother struggling to piece together that much childcare?

To make the situation more fun, my son’s preschool decided to snap to the same schedule, which in theory is great, but here’s the problem: there aren’t many camps for four-year-olds!

There were great camp options for the week of January 6. My daughter did two camps that she absolutely loved. However, the camps were from 10am-3pm, and definitely not close to my work. Hence, I spent a ton of time driving, and my daughter had to go to work with me before and after camp. Thank goodness I have a flexible employer!

The rest of the break took a ton of planning for me to ensure I could go to work and have childcare established.

I ended up having to hire a babysitter for the “one-off” days thrown into the schedule, like the day before Thanksgiving and the Friday before winter break (Dec. 20).

There were hardly any camp options for kids the week of December 30. I know many people take that week off, and all the people who work for schools are glad to continue their holiday break, but then there are those of us that work full-time and whose companies expect us to be at work that week… I ended up having to hire the neighbor to watch my four-year-old and flying my daughter to the Bay Area to be with her grandparents for the week (a ticket that cost $300, mind you!).

As a whole, I think I like the balanced calendar. I like the October break. The three week holiday break would be okay if the infrastructure supported it. My verdict is still out on a two-week Spring Break. However, I think a shorter summer is much better for learning retention, so I am happy about an eight-week-summer.

I would just like to throw out there that I see a lot of business opportunity for people to start up camps during the breaks. Camps that are open from 7:45am – 5:15 pm for those of us 8-to-5’ers. I’ve definitely daydreamed about starting up my own camp to meet this need, but don’t think I could make ends meet running camps for just 12 weeks a year.

I would love to hear from the other Mommas out there. Do you like the balanced calendar? Did you have similar challenges? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!


About Lynnette Bellin

Lynnette Bellin
Lynnette Bellin is the owner and site manager of the Reno Moms Blog. She is a married mother of a tween girl and a rambunctious little boy. Lynnette moved to Reno in 2001 after choosing to live in a place that she loved for its natural beauty. Lynnette has written four children's books, including The Kindness Ninja and a series of three books called Adeline’s Magical Moments Collection. She has been obsessed with blogging since 2002. She is also on the board of Think Kindness, a local non-profit that inspires measurable acts of kindness. Lynnette loves to experience the outdoor adventures in our area, including skiing, hiking, camping, and open water swimming. She is especially thrilled to have her kids starting to love the same hobbies, and spends a lot of time shuttling them to the pool, Lake Tahoe or the ski area depending on the season. Lynnette’s life is a blur of kid activities, mediating sibling arguments, making homemade meals, and hugs and kisses, mixed with days of working in content marketing.

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