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Sun, Aug. 09

<center>Letters to the Editor</center>

Urges folks to be at Feb. 27 meeting

I was one of the members of our community who attended the first public meeting on the four-day school week. I assume I was one of the people who “shocked” and “showed a lack of respect” to the school board and local school administration by asking questions and “expecting some kind of answers,” (as stated in the February Principal’s report for the Williams Elementary/Middle School).

I believe, however, it was the school board and the administration that showed the community a complete and total lack of respect for not studying this issue and giving us any basis or proof on how a four-day week will benefit the children of Williams. They asked for input from teachers and the community, and I hope they listen to our concerns.

The administration’s actions of threatening teachers and criticizing concerned citizens are very detrimental to reaching positive results.

I am hoping the presentation on Feb. 27 will be more informative. But after carefully studying the school’s website, I still see no real effort in addressing the real issue, the education of our children. Of the 14 links on the school’s website, none showed any results to support the fact a four-day week is good for education and test results — absolutely no proof.

The only reason school districts consider the four-day week is because of financial concerns. It is done out of necessity. It is never done to improve test scores or because of President Bush’s Leave No Child Behind program. Almost all the school districts have the normal five-day week and have time to train their teachers. Why are we unable to do it? Is it poor management?

So, if the real reason for going to the four-day week isn’t financial, and the administration claims that it isn’t, then what is it? They want us to believe the one in-service Friday every month will be enough to magically raise our test scores. They want us to believe that kids who couldn’t achieve minimal standards in a five-day week can do it in a four-day week with a voluntary Friday, where the kids are taught by a substitute teacher (the voluntary day of school has not worked anywhere). They want us to believe we can reschedule our sports with other conference schools which aren’t on a four-day week and that won’t hurt our athletics.

This decision needs much more thought and study. There are many solutions available to help our school and our children. This just isn’t one of them.

After spending so much time researching this subject, I have learned much more on the high school block schedule. I believe the block schedule has great potential if the counselors and teachers use it correctly and are supported by the administrators.

Please show up at the middle school on Feb. 27 at 6:30 p.m. and let your voice be heard.

I would also like to invite anyone interested in discussing this issue to please come to Buckles Restaurant on Thursday night, Feb. 21 at 7 p.m., for a discussion on the issue.

Gary G. Killinsworth


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