In March 12 IssueBy Wade Daffron, Columnist
I'm trying to figure out how I feel about the new, Russell County Schools' schedule.
Please don't get me wrong-I'm not against education, and I think we have some awesome instructors and staff in our school system, I just don't always "get" some of the administrative decisions.
Wednesday, when I picked my youngest son up from school, he immediately informed me there was a "very important paper" in his backpack I had to look at "right away!"
As a matter of fact, he insisted I look at it before we even got in the vehicle.
I glanced at the "very important paper" and sighed.
By way of explanation, I had a feeling what the paper said before I read it.
That morning, I saw a news item on one of the local, radio station's website about a "special" meeting being called at 11:30 a.m. (that day) to discuss the possibility of altering the school day.
Later in the day, and returned to the website for an update, and found said post had apparently been removed.
"Good idea," I thought to myself, because I thought changing of the school day was a bad idea.
Surely to goodness they decided not to have the meeting, I surmised.
And I'll just tell you up front-being an old newspaper man, I DETEST meetings which are held at "odd" times of day or night-meaning meetings which can't be attended by the general public because they are more than likely at work.
Personally, I feel the public should not only be made well aware, but also be given a chance to participate, speak, debate when an important decision is being made which may affect them.
Anyway, back to my point (and I THINK I have one...), this "very important paper" confirmed my fears.
Yes, the school day would be altered, and it seemed like a "done deal" since they had handouts for students on the same day of the special meeting. (See what I'm saying?)
Basically, around 48 minutes is being added to the school day.
Which means students will have to go longer, will have to be picked up later, various programs could be affected, etc., etc.
Which gets me to thinking (uh-oh), What kind of burden (if any) will think be for parents/guardians?
So, we have to "make up " days due to inclement weather, but it's not our fault that it snowed...a lot...and days were missed.
And nobody wants kids (or teachers) to have to go to school all summer.
But why make this change so late in the school year?
It's like being in the fourth quarter of a football game, and the officials saying, "OK, we're going to add ten extra yards to the end zone, so field is now 110 yard long."
Or being in the last two minutes of a basketball game, and having either the goal lifted higher, or the three-point line scooted back.
Sure, I'm griping because it affects me, but it affects MANY people.
Parents, grandparents, guardians, are going to have to figure out how to alter their work schedules to pick up kids at this new, later time, and I can only imagine what other kind of inconveniences may occur.
I wish someone would consider how this affects EVERYONE involved. It honestly seems like the parents/guardians are always get the short end of the stick.
Even more importantly, these are the people who pay the SCHOOL TAX which provides funding, so they darn better have a say in things!
Using yet another analogy (I'm getting "good" at "bad" examples), it's like going to the grocery, and giving the casher $100 for a shopping cart covered with a blanket so you can't see what's in it.
Are there $100 worth of groceries in it? Maybe $20 worth? Perhaps $200 worth? Who knows?
I bet you wouldn't shop there very long, would you?
Because you would like to be able to chose what's in your cart, right?
And you'd also want to be able to get your money's worth.
In other words, YOU would like to have a say in how YOUR money is spent.
In a situation like the one we're facing, its seem like another edict "handed down from the mountain": we have to live by.
I'm also curious if other school systems are altering their school days.
If this is a viable idea, I'll be the first to praise Russell County as an innovator.
Also, at a time of cuts, cutbacks, and such, is extending the day actually going to cost MORE?
Does the "end" justify the "means"?
So many questions...
I, for one, have my hand raised, high, and am ready for answers.