Changing schedules is not the answer
So our school district is looking into juggling our children’s school week again. One of the selling points for the block scheduling at the high school and more recently at the middle school was that this would allow greater time for teachers to plan classes and to work with other teachers in a cooperative fashion. Now we are being told that they need more time to develop standardized learning objectives (and those aren’t already established before the school year?) and to evaluate data.Look at one of the major reasons for this change: “plans worked out in September are often forgotten by January.” This should be a disturbing revelation about our school district. Our administrators or teachers are unable to keep their eyes on objectives. Summit School District director of professional development Robin Ziperman says that this is a “moral imperative” and “How can you not do it?” It is troubling that she would place this in such an inflammatory manner. If a person disagrees with her is that person acting immorally? Too many times school district employees frame any questions about school policy in such confrontational manners. Robin Ziperman is not a positive role model and by district standards is engaging in “bullying tactics.” There can be disagreement and alternatives to the requested schedule change without interjecting moral superiority.Again we are being told that changing our children schedules will be good for them. One reoccurring theme for better education is a predictable and stable environment specially for primary aged children. Why does their day, week have to be tweaked to accommodate teachers and administrators? Why do parents have to alter their schedules? If contact time is to be unaltered, then it appears as if at-school time for the teachers will be unaltered. Either the union has already agreed to a longer work week for teachers, or the teachers’ work week will not change. Most businesses, if they need staff meetings, put those prior to or after normal business hours. Why doesn’t school district administration expect public employees to either come in early or stay late one day if this additional meeting time is so critical? There would be no need to alter bus schedules or to make special accommodations for after-school activities and building use. Instead we, the public, are told to make accommodations for people who are being paid for their time.The school board probably should agree to teachers and administrators meeting for even more planning and data evaluation, but only before or after the standard school day. This will fulfill the perceived need for even more meeting and planning time and not affect the children or parents. The school board may want to investigate why our administrators and teachers have been unable to follow goals and objectives with the time already allotted.
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