Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Update on the Lack of Instructional Time

Yesterday afternoon was our monthly PTA meeting. I was especially looking forward to what our principal had to say about the recent news of our school not meeting the specified amount of instructional time deemed by the State.

And what he had to say was interesting.

Just as I had thought, our bell schedule has been the exact same for the last ten years (it has the last four that Hannah has gone there). However, given the current status of our State budget, the State officials are auditing every nook and cranny looking for money.

When they audited our school, it was determined that the minimum days we had in November, for parent teacher conferences, caused our instructional time to be short. Never before had we had minimum days like this for parent conferences, and unfortunately it has cost us dearly. Our instructional time is lacking by 15 minutes. FIFTEEN MINUTES! And as a penalty for lacking those 15 minutes, our children, our teachers, and the staff at our elementary school must go an extra seven days!

Our principal also explained to those of us at the meeting that in years past, this might have only been a 'slap on the hand' offense, but because the State of California is in a state of budget crisis, they are looking for money. And if we don't comply with extending our school year until Monday, June 29th, then the school must pay the State of California 2.1 million dollars.

Dr Adeyemo was very apologetic for the inconvenience this has caused for the families of our school. He informed us that all the teachers at our school have agreed to stay on through the end of our newly appointed last day of school. He invited the Assistant Supervisor of Curriculum to attend our meeting and she spoke in regards to the problem as well. She too, was very apologetic. She also said that while it could not be said in the letter that was sent home on Monday, that attendance past the 18th is voluntary. Any absences will not affect your student, including those at the school on district transfers and part of the magnet program, such as us. The 6th grade promotion had to be moved to the 29th in fear that if they didn't, the State would look upon us as not taking the penalty seriously.

I spoke with Hannah's teacher prior to the meeting, and she is planning on being at school most of the extra seven days. Her sister is getting married that week we're supposed to be off and she is having the rehearsal dinner, etc, etc. So she may be gone one day or half a day. All the teachers are supposed to planning "enrichment activities". As for our class, she plans to do fun things, that incorporate some sort of learning with each activity.

As bad as we feel for having seven extra days, we are not bad off really. We were told in our meeting that there is a school in Chino that has 39 extra days of school added to their school year. Now that, really stinks!!!!


Letti said...

I heard about the Chino district and I was shocked. I would be very upset if my child was in that district. I think that it is a very sad thing that they are punishing the kids and teachers. So if your child doesn't go to school do you have to call in sick?

Darcy said...

That Chino school hardly even gets a summer break. 39 school days (M-F) is 8 extra weeks of school.

Ya know, they didn't say. I would imagine a call into the office just saying your child wasn't attending that day due to prior plans would be enough.


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