Friday, January 4, 2013

When does your academic year begin and end?

I'm working on the 2013-2014 academic year Plannerisms planners, but I'm not sure when they should begin and end because school years vary so much by country.

In the US, the majority of schools start in August sometime, and usually end late May or early June. But I have a friend in Hawaii whose kids started school late July.

Here in Scotland, school starts in August like in the US but doesn't finish until the first week of July.  In England, school doesn't start until September.

Universities vary even more. In the US, classes usually start late August or early September and finish in early May. But I've heard of universities here in the UK where classes don't begin until October.

I would prefer not to do an 18 month planner because that would add to the cost of the book and I want to try to keep the cost down for everyone. But 13 or even 14 months would be very doable. Personally I'm really looking forward to using the academic-year Plannerisms planner because even though I'm not a student myself, it helps me a lot to be able to plan my kids' entire school year in one book.

So in an effort to cover as much of everybody's academic year as possible, I need your input! I'm thinking of having the 2013-2014 planner start in July 2013 and go through to the end of August 2014. Would that encompass your entire school year? If  not, what beginning/ ending months would be better for you?

Please leave a comment and/ or vote in the poll in the sidebar! Thanks for your input everyone!


50 comments:

  1. Do you also want the school holydays in The Netherlands?

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    1. Yes, when does the academic year begin and end there?

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    2. Begining of July 2013 to end of August 2014

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    3. July 2013-august 2014. That would work perfect for us as we homeschool year round and my daughter takes college classes during summer semesters. We are in western USA. Can you sell through Amazon?

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    4. Hi Cassandra, currently I can't sell via Amazon, but I'm in the process of looking for a US distributor so I hope the Plannerisms planners will be more readily available to US customers soon! Thanks for your interest! :)

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  2. I'm in Scotland and our (PG) year runs from September-May but a month or two on either side is often helpful as you get in and out of the swing of things.

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    1. Thanks Coree! I figure any unused pages before or after the academic year can be used as notes pages. You can never have too many notes pages in a planner! :)

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  3. I'm in Germany and we begin depending on state, which means the earliest state begins on July 31st, the latest on September 11th 2013. The school years ends somewhen during July 2014.
    Our universities all usually start in October and run through June/July.

    Hope that helps!

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    1. Hi Anke, good to know that to accommodate your academic year the planner would need to start in July and finish the following July or after. Thanks!

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  4. My uni year begins the beginning of October (Freshers is usually the last week in September or the first in October) and ends in the beginning of May! Exams take place until Mid June. So really its Oct til June in the UK.

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    1. Thanks Alice! Sounds like any of the start/ finish months listed would work for you then.

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  6. July to August sounds like a good idea to me

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  7. St Andrews uni year has just changed and now Freshers' Week is at the start of September and the year finishes the first week in June (though the students will probably leave a little earlier than that if their exams are over). The key for me would be when are the planners available - if they are available by July, then everything is fine as 'current AY' stuff would go in the current one (which I assume would cover August), but anything for the 'new AY' would be better being put straight into the new one. But sometimes the Academic Year planners don't come out until August/September, which makes it impossible! A lot of 'new AY' planning takes place in July/August.
    I don't know if that helps with your choice (I voted Aug to Sept) but it might help you with release dates?
    All the best with it!!
    A.x

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    1. Thanks Amanda! I don't know exactly when the release date would be, but I would aim for at least a couple of months before the planners begin, and hopefully more depending on printing etc.

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  8. I'm at at university in the US and our year runs from the end of August to the beginning of the following August with three semesters in a year (Fall, Spring, Summer).

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  9. I would do it August through to the end of the following August (13 months)

    My uni year runs October to May (Bath, UK).

    One thing I would say is that you can never have too many timetable slots - some people like to timetable their evenings, and my uni has classes from 8am to 7pm, so there need to be ten slots in a timetable page, and there are usually only eight.

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    1. That's great to know about the timetable slots, thanks!

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  10. I think the best bet would be July 13-July 14, then you could capture times for both elementary/secondary and university.

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  11. Hi Laurie
    You will find the dates for France here:

    http://about-france.com/school-holidays.htm

    Steve

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    1. Excellent, thanks Steve! I see they go until early July like we do here.

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  12. England and Wales I think follow this pattern:

    http://www.holidaylettings.co.uk/resources/owner-advice/successful-marketing/uk-school-holidays-dates-for-2012-2013/a-1-31-2055/

    http://myschoolholidays.com/ might also help!

    Steve

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    1. Wow England and Wales go all the way until almost the end of July! So any academic-year calendar would need to start in July and go at least all the way through the end of the next July to cover the US and all of the UK and France.

      Thanks!

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  13. I've noticed several people have voted in the sidebar that August 2013-September 2014 would fit their academic year best. If this is you, could you please tell me where you're located and what your academic year dates are? Thanks!

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  14. I am in Sweden and the academic year begins mid-August. I would also be prepared to pay more for an 18 month planner - just thought I would add that to the mix.

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    1. Thanks janet. When does your academic year end?

      And, that's an interesting point: would a majority of people be willing to pay a little more for an 18 month (July 2013-December 2014) planner?

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    2. For me, size of any planner is absolutely crucial. 18 month planners are just too thick and heavy.

      I would certainly give the Plannerisms planner another chance (sadly, I've had to go back to a loose page set-up) for the next academic year, if it was tweaked to A5. This would enable it to hold folded A4 documents in the rear pocket and to be able to fit it in an A5 leather cover. But please don't make it too thick by expanding to 18 months!

      Beginning of August to end of the following July will cover nearly all academic years. A typical England/ Wales end date this year is 26th July with schools not returning until 9th or even 11th September.

      My reason for voting is that surely an academic year planner should also try to include the summer holidays in one planner. There are all sorts of summer school camps and activities to be planned, and a 14 month beginning of August to end of the following September format would best allow for this.

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    3. Laurie the academic year ends at end June. I am a teacher though so the students end a little earlier.

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  15. Hi Laurie, I wrote you last week regarding having problems ordering and you recommended emailing them...I did...they wrote back and suggested I call to order. I don't know about calling overseas, I'm in the US, and I don't have money for that. I tried to start over with my order and now I can't even get to the checkout! This has been a nightmare, if I didn't like the look of your planner I would have moved on. Unless you have a suggestion I'm going to have to look something else times wasting...I need a planner. Can you help?! Thanks.

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    1. Hi Jo Ann, sorry Collins wasn't able to figure out why you aren't able to order. Is it giving you some kind of error message, or just going back to the previous page? I don't know why they weren't able to figure out what's wrong. Is it happening after you put in your payment info or before?

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    2. The 1st time after the payment then next time I couldn't get to the payment screen...I was able to put my info and that was it...it kept sending me back to the login page, even though I already logged in. I'm getting nowhere but frustrated.Don't understand why I'm the only one!?! I all want is a planner:(

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    3. Hi JoAnn, I don't understand it either. The only thing I can think of is it might be something to do with your security settings on your computer, although I don't know enough about them to advise you. You are the only person I've heard from who has had this problem with the ordering site.

      If you want, I could order it to have it sent to you and you could pay me back via PayPal? I've ordered some for US delivery and had no problems.

      Email me if you are interested: Laurie at Plannerisms dot com. :)

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  16. Examples of why Aug- Sep might work best (at least in the UK!) as the summer holidays at the end of the academic year would be covered in one planner. (You then start a new planner for the new academic year):-

    English/ Welsh schools 9/9/13 to 25/7/14. Hols late July to early Sep. Covered in one planner!
    Scottish schools: 14/8/13 to 25/6/14. Hols late June to mid-Aug. Covered in one planner!
    UK university: 30/9/13 to 20/6/14. Hols late June to late September. Covered in one planner!

    (These are typical dates before anyone shouts that their school is different!)

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    1. Thanks for this input Tim. However from feedback I'm getting from several people, their academic year begins in July and an August start would be too late for many people.

      Seems like the beginning of July to the end of September would cover the academic year for just about everyone. Does this not fit anyone's beginning or ending dates?

      Thanks for all the input everyone!!

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    2. I know design and production needs to be planned well in advance. A July start would certainly mean it could be used sooner!

      In case we don't get another chance, here are the other improvements I would ask you to consider (not intended to be critical!)

      - Size. International A5 rather than unusual 8.5" x 5.5"
      - Wider appeal rather than perceived American bias For example; other detailed maps needed, not just USA. Use of American English especially on personal information page. ("#", "cell" etc.)
      - Drop pages like International Dialling Codes and conversions if necessary to free-up space for better maps. If continuing with holidays, please include countries like Ireland and Spain - much more use to me than Vietnam and Korea

      Good luck! tim

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    3. Thanks very much for your input Tim! It will be hard to make everyone completely happy because the Plannerisms planners are marketed heavily in Asia as well as Europe, the UK and the US and people in different places have different preferences. But I'll do my best!

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    4. I agree with Laurie on this one - she is trying to make it really international for her worldwide fans and I for one really really appreciate that. There are lots and lots of us who don't live in the UK and I prefer the more general information.

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    5. PS I am South African- born but I had an Irish father, a German mother and an English grandmother. I have lived and worked in the US, Ireland, the UK and at present live in Sweden where I work for the Nordic branch of a London company. My job is translating legislation and training politicians for trips all over the world. So it is really nice for me to be able to look up information about all kinds of countries for them. Thank you Laurie for thinking of all of us :)

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    6. Wow janet how interesting! Your work sounds fascinating. And yes those of us who live/ work/ travel on multiple continents have different needs than those based in one place most of the time.

      In addition to the start/ end dates, I'm also trying to figure out a better situation for the International Holidays pages so I can include more countries that are relevant to more users. I'm thinking a chart might allow more countries to be included? Does anyone have any suggestions or thoughts on the International Holidays pages?

      As always thanks so much for your input everyone!

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  17. I voted for Aug - Sept (in Canada, this would cover all university undergraduate and professional school programs and I think it would cover universities in the US as well).

    Do you think it's possible to make a bounded paper version of the Plannerisms planner (no cover) that could be used in a Quo Vadis cover (I think it would fit into the Scholar one)? I have been using their covers and just buying refills over the years because they're available at every university bookstore and Indigo (largest bookstore chain in Canada. It's also more environmentally friendly and cheaper than buying covered planners every year. I think a bounded paper version would also fit into the flex binders through Filofax?

    Anyways, I really love this planner and have been waiting for a long time for a layout like this! Could you see if it's possible to sell in university bookstores or in a large chain (like Indigo)? I think the price is a bit steep for students with the shipping cost included (I usually only pay around the shipping price for my QV planner!) Thanks :)

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    1. Hi Janice, thanks for the info. Probably won't be a coverless version, but I REALLY want to sell in university bookstores! Right now my planners are only distributed via Collins, which doesn't have a North America presence so I'm looking hard for a N America distributor.

      Please tell your university bookstore you want them to carry Plannerisms planners and give them my email address (Laurie at Plannerisms dot com) so I can get the Plannerisms planners to them!

      Thanks!!

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    2. Hi again Janice, FYI on the Quo Vadis covers, none of them really fit the Plannerisms planner. I have a Scholar cover as you mentioned, but the Scholar is about an inch taller and 3/4 inch wider than the Plannerisms planner. So the cover does fit, but it's too big. The next closest cover size fits the Journal 21, but the Plannerisms planner is just slightly taller than the Journal 21 so that cover doesn't fit. QV doesn't make a planner the exact same size as the Plannerisms planner so none of their covers would be an exact fit. Hope this helps.

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  18. Wow Laurie - loads of comments! I wish I'd had the benefit of asking questions like this back in 2005! :)

    When we launched the Dodo Acad-Pad in 2006 (our mid year diary as you know) we started it in mid August to accommodate the Scottish academic year as well as the UK and US terms. It runs through to end of the following August. It is almost impossible to please all of the people all of the time - in Australia and NZ the academic year starts in March. We did also consider adding a further section (our diary is printed in 16 page sections but that took us through to an awkward date in November and to add yet another section made it a)very heavy and bulky and b) rather expensive. So it's a balance of where you hope/expect to make most sales in order to be financially viable.(You will also get loads of requests for different formats - again it is a balance of how many you can sell vs. setup and print costs). Good luck!

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    1. Hi Lord Dodo, thanks very much for your comment! Yes there will always be some people for whom the dates don't fit perfectly, but aside from offering an undated version there's really no way to please everyone all the time. I'm hoping I can encompass as many people's academic year as possible.

      I was surprised to discover how many people's academic year begins in July (Netherlands and some places in the US among others) and how many go to nearly the end of August (summer semester in US universities and some schools elsewhere). I definitely see the value of an 18 month book but I don't think the cost and weight would be worthwhile in the end, for everyone.

      I have friends in Australia whose academic year starts in January, aren't they lucky to not have to sort this out?? ;D

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  19. It's the same in South Africa Laurie and it makes things so much easier when everything starts at the same time as the New Year and your year is not chopped up so to speak.

    BUT BUT BUT - you get the summer holidays, Christmas, New Year and school start all at once so it is a looooong month financially plus you then have nothing to look forward to for the next year :)

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  20. My uni (St Andrews) starts in September and ends in June.

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  21. I'd love a July-August planner, not because of school schedules but because my company starts our fiscal year on July 1.

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