School Is Cool, But Not In August.

Dear Loudon County Parents:

The Loudon County school board has voted to start the 08-09 school year on MONDAY, AUGUST 4th How do you feel about our children starting school so early in August?

HEAT - Last year in August, many classrooms did not have air conditioning - some for as long as six weeks.  As of today, this problem still exists in many Loudon County schools.  Unfortunately, numerous local school bus drivers have reported seeing first-hand how susceptible our children are to heat-related illnesses and conditions during the early weeks of August as well.

ECONOMICS - What about the economic costs of these increasingly early start dates?  While the school board and county commission are in constant battle over how to adequately fund our schools (even for basic maintenance & upkeep), how much money are they wasting by throwing thousands of dollars at unnecessary utility costs?  The savings alone could significantly aid in the repair of our schools’ air conditioning systems.

SUMMER JOBS - What about the high school students?  There is not adequate time during the summer to fulfill a commitment to a full time job in order to earn money for college.  How strong will their college applications look without summer-time positions and references as to their work ethic, character, initiative, and other employment-based criteria?

ACADEMICS & FAMILY - There is no evidence to suggest that early start dates impact academics in any way; yet, the calendar causes many unnecessary hardships for families in Loudon County in the name of academics and curriculum necessity.  Examples of this hardship include:  Excessive days off (teacher in-services, etc.) during the school year, causing parents to scrabble to find childcare so they can go to work; kids riding stifling busses; teachers trying to teach uncomfortable – and even heat-sick – kids who aren’t able to relieve excess energy because its too hot for recess; and for divorced parents, short summers mean each parent doesn’t get to spend as much time with their children.

The list goes on and on.  These are just a few of the problems that we face with early start dates.

Many Loudon County parents are concerned that our school board members are increasingly out of touch with the welfare of our children.  They have forgotten – or perhaps never even fully acknowledged - the reasons they were elected into these critical positions.

If you share these concerns and would like to hold our school board more accountable and encourage them to truly focus on the needs of our children (the FUTURE of Loudon County), please attend the May 8th school board meeting and show support for this cause. There will also be a petition available for signature at this time.

If you are unable to attend the school board meeting, but would like to add your voice to this cause, please come to Eaton Ruritan Park where you can sign the petition. Petitions will be available at the park starting 4/28/08

Remember…this is an election year. NOW is the time to let the school board know that it is OUR children for which they are making decisions, and in those decisions, we, as parents have a say.  Together our voices will be heard.

If you are interested in signing the state petition, to get all Tennessee schools to start after a set date. Please log on to

Thank you for your concern and support in this matter.

Teresa Karimian