Give new school calendar a chance |

Give new school calendar a chance

Dear Editor,

I’d like to offer Ms. Jensen some arguments in favor of the Academic Achievement calendar proposed by the Garfield County Re-2 school district.

First let me say that I believe Ms. Jensen has a valid argument as far as daycare will be concerned. Finding daycare on a week-by-week basis could cause some families some headaches. I have a solution that may work for some families, though it won’t be an option for everyone. The high school students will also be out of school on the same schedule. Why not give them something to do as well as some extra income by hiring them to watch your kids during the break? I’ve been told that high school students feel this is beneath them, but faced with no income or income made from watching a friend or neighbors kids, I feel they may jump at the chance. Why not offer this chance to a teenager you trust?

I’m sorry that Ms. Jensen has implied that the reason we are moving to this new schedule is because teachers are sick of dealing with the kids. This is not true in the slightest!

I have been a paraprofessional for the last five years and I have to say I’m offended by this. I love my job and the kids I see every day. If I didn’t, do you think I’d have stayed this many years? There are teachers who have taught in this district for more than 20 years. You don’t stay with something you hate for that long!

I think if Ms. Jensen could spend a few days in the classrooms, she’d see that the teachers try to be as consistent as possible. Sometimes, kids who are overloaded with new information begin to misbehave in an effort to cope. If they get a short break at the end of each quarter, it gives them time to assimilate what they’ve just learned and get ready for new information.

I wonder if Ms. Jensen is held accountable for her co-workers’ production in the same way as teachers are for their students. How would she feel if her job depended on a co-worker’s ability to complete a job on time accurately and completely? What if raises and bonuses were all contingent on how well the company does on a certain test? Your co-worker doesn’t test well so everyone in the company drops down a pay level. Would you feel that was fair?

As far as summer is concerned, it’s only being shortened by four weeks. If most kids are anything like mine, they’re bored and ready to go back to school by Aug. 1. Let’s help kids stay out of trouble and let’s shorten the amount of time for them to lose knowledge by getting them back to school sooner! We usually spend the first three to four weeks reviewing the previous year’s information before we can move on. I call that wasted time.

I would like to ask Ms. Jensen to please allow the kids, teachers and parents to adjust to this new schedule. Give it a few years and I’m sure we’ll see an improvement in grades and behavior! Remember, just because we’ve always done something a certain way doesn’t mean we need to keep doing it that way forever. Change can be a good thing.

Audrey Thornton

Riverside School

New Castle

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