School calendar has evolved over time
Editor: While G.E. MacDonell makes a few salient points in his letter (The Times, Feb. 14), he or she has overlooked the evolution of schooling in Canada and North America.
When Canada and the U.S. were agricultural economies, school breaks consisted of planting season and harvesting season. Due to climate, this break was varied throughout North America.
Once North America shifted to an manufacturing economy, the needs of the agriculture sector for school breaks became subservient to the requirement of consistency in the business community, a schedule that continues today.
The final paragraph in the original letter says it all. When I attended school in the 1940s and 1950s, I was in school by 8 a.m. Lunch was from 12 to 1 p.m., and we were out of school at 4 p.m., in the afternoon.
Easter break and Christmas were all the times we spent away from school, except for summer break. That was from the last day of June to the first day of September.
I have three family members in the school system, and they decry the shortened days. Many parents think the school is a babysitter, rather than a place of learning.