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Letter to the Editor: School schedule

December 6, 2013
Rebecca Dostal , Traer Star-Clipper

Dear Editor,

Recently I was asked to serve on a committee to discuss the 2014-2015 North Tama school calendar. I accepted because I thought it was important to be informed on what was happening with the new law on hours versus days in the classroom. There were several people asked on the committee which held teachers, school board members, non-teacher faculty and parents.

The committee was given information on pros and cons of lengthening the school day and a couple of school calendars. One of which had 20 minutes added to each day and the other using our current schedule. Each schedule had several weeks with a four day school week with either the Monday or Friday being a +1 day or professional development day for teachers. Both calendars had us starting on August 25 and ending on May 22.

Now I know a lot of thought and information went into making both calendars and I'm sure they both have the children's best interest in mind, but I am concerned with the information that is being shared with the public and the consequences that may come from having several days off during the school year. I also have a problem with putting my children on the bus 15 to 20 minutes earlier since they already get on the bus at 7:10 am. I know that I can drive my children to school if I do not like it, but some parents do not have that luxury.

Childcare is another issue I am concerned about. Who will watch these younger children if both parents have to work? I know we have days off during the school year now and early outs that parents have to find supervision for their children currently, but this would be 15 days not including Holidays that we normally have off. Then there are the older children that may be out driving around more, getting into trouble, doing things they shouldn't be doing when we could be educating them like we are supposed to be doing.

I know there are a lot of questions out there because I have been talking to a lot of parents. I do know these changes are to be voted on by the school board at the December 16 board meeting before a public meeting is going to be held. My advice would be to ask your school board representative what is going on and why you are not being able to have a say in this decision that is going to affect your entire family.

A concerned parent,

Rebecca Dostal



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