Parents rise up over school calendar
The results are in and parents aren't too happy about some of the decisions about their schools. But is anyone listening?
As our colleague Jamal Thalji notes in his story today, a survey of Pinellas County parents shows what they like — and don't like — about start times, school uniforms and early release on Wednesdays. They were fairly supportive of a tougher dress code, divided over school start times and pretty much hated the early school release every Wednesday.
As we noted on this blog two years ago when this issue first came up, parents were quite literally the last to know that their kids would get out one hour early every Wednesday to give teachers some planning time. They had questions about child care, juggling work schedules, if gifted, art and music classes would be affected. But they were told that once the contract was already signed with the school union, their questions came too late. Hillsborough County parents are having similar frustrations in not feeling heard in the process of putting together their school calendar.
The need for these short days is valid. Teachers need planning time. But we are seeing more parents rising up to demand a seat at the table when making these decisions.
Hillsborough will hold some public hearings about its school calendar in the next few months, and it will be interesting to see if Pinellas officials have any reaction to this survey.
--Sharon Kennedy Wynne
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