Clumping grade levels is not in the best interest of kids
I was unable to attend the School Board meeting last Thursday afternoon
because I have to be at work at 4 p.m. (as do many parents). So I
would like to address the School Board members and the district
administration in this public forum. I applaud Board member Tom
Cochran for indicating that he wanted to get the input of parents whose
children will be affected by the possible reconfiguring of the
elementary schools before making any decisions.
I believe that the idea to clump grade levels into one school site is
not in the best interest of our children. I am well aware of the burden
placed on teachers who have to teach a "combo" class and I empathize
with their plight, but that is a reality which is associated with small
schools and small school districts. I think that what the district is
really concerned about regarding this idea is the bottom line - money.
I also do not believe that "clumping" the schools will necessarily
increase test scores or increase a teacher's ability to meet the
"standards" (which are actually a hindrance to truly great teachers).
Most of us adults who graduated high school and beyond before the
government came up with these standards of education have done just
fine due to teachers who taught the children and not the standards.
When my older son was in first grade he was in a first and second grade
combination class and I believe that he actually benefited from the
Dismantling the "neighborhood school" would be a major mistake. The
six or so years that children spend at their neighborhood school helps
to shape their entire academic outlook. For my older son, it was a
significant rite of passage for him when he was old enough to walk to
and from school with his friends or ride his bike to school.
small children all the way across town would rob these current and
future youngsters of a similar experience, not to mention the bond
with the other neighborhood kids that would not be built.
I actually have plenty more to say on this subject but I will save it
for a future letter or hopefully a board meeting scheduled at a time
that will allow working parents to attend. So for now, I urge you to
proceed slowly and with great caution when considering this notion of
reconfiguring the elementary schools, because you are about to open up
a Costco-sized can of worms.
It is really a treat to see the editor's work in the paper
I take pleasure in reading the editor's compositions when they appear. It is really atreat to see the editor's column.
Over the years I've seen severaleditors of The Triplicate. Perhaps the
news was different, which does not excuse the lack of attention to Del
Norte that was apparent at times. Now we can all enjoy the editor's
contribution to Crescent City, which shows genuine interest in the
affairs of Del Norte County.
Never have I seen thelocal-interest thoughts from the editor as I have
with Mr. Wiens, and I thank him for showing his thoughts and views of
Del Norte County.
One does not have to agree, but certainly can be glad to read it.
John W. South