What does a full school day feel like?
I’m not sure I remember. I do know that Friday was a tough day in my own household, getting three kids ready for school and myself ready for work and out the door on time. I felt like I’d put in a full work day already by the time I drove into the parking lot at work. And I noticed that the kids were extra grouchy Friday evening and headed to bed without being asked to. After all, it was the first full day of school in weeks.
And it’s not like riding a bicycle. There are specific skills to getting five people out of the door in the morning, dressed, fed, brushed and happy (or not) and on time. And if you don’t use them, you lose them.
And the kids? It’s difficult to get back into the swing of things even after a weekend. After this January and February thus far, with such spotty school attendance, Friday had to feel like the first day of school all over again. And teachers? It’s hard enough to battle the “Season of Forgetting” at the beginning of the school year, when kids have forgotten the most basic lessons they learned the grade before. Now teachers face that same season in the middle of the school year and have to reteach the things they’ve worked on for the first half of the year. Not to mention the fact that the clock is ticking and tests are coming sooner than anyone would like to think.
Is the 2013-14 school year a loss? I doubt it; we have plenty of time to recover. Will it be a tough row to hoe? Most certainly. Will it take students, parents, teachers and administrators working together? Absolutely. But will we make 180 days, as state law requires? No way.
Marion County school officials are trying to create a calendar that will accommodate what everyone wants and still have the dedicated classroom time. And they want to hear everyone’s opinion on the issue. In addition to two public meetings scheduled, officials have asked parents, students and teachers to also vote in an online survey on which time period they’d like to see for the school year.
Hey! We have an online survey, too! And it shows you the results immediately. It can be found each week at www.timeswv.com. So last week, we asked our readers to vote on the school calendar span they’d most like to see next year. And here’s what you had to say:
• The week of Aug. 25, 2014/June 15, 2015 — 10.11 percent.
• The week of Aug. 11, 2014/June 1, 2015 — 26.97 percent.
• The week of Sept. 1, 2014/June 22, 2015 — 28.09 percent.
• The week of Aug. 18, 2014/June 8, 2015 — 34.83 percent.
Online reader Sherrie Haller didn’t like any of the choices, however.
“School should start after Labor Day and end on, or very close thereafter, to Memorial Day,” Haller wrote. “The vacation days need shortened, and get rid of Faculty Senate days. Kids need a chance to enjoy summer and be a kid. High school kids need a chance to have summer jobs. Families need a chance to vacation together.”
We’re glad for the input, Sherrie. And remember, you can always respond online to our poll questions if you want to explain your vote, or as in Sherrie’s case, explain why you didn’t.
This week, let’s talk about CVS pulling all tobacco out of their stores nationwide as a stance against the habit. What do you think?
Log on. Vote. Email me or respond online.
What does a full school day feel like?
Coal industry can’t afford to give this administration and EPA more ammunition
Coal already has a bad name in Washington, D.C.
The whole industry got another black eye this week when Alpha Natural Resources Inc., one of the country’s largest coal producers, agreed to pay a $27.5 million fine and invest $200 million to reduce illegal water pollution in five states, including West Virginia.
Being observant, reporting suspicions can make difference for hurting children
If a child is hurting, we wouldn’t hesitate to help.
Or would we?
In a five-year span, 22,830 children were victims of some type of neglect or abuse in West Virginia. That’s an overwhelming number to think about.
Gee makes major impact and earns another term as WVU president
Let’s imagine that a graduate from West Virginia University in the early 1980s, when E. Gordon Gee was president, came back to get an extra degree now and couldn’t believe that E. Gordon Gee is “still” the president of WVU.
Effort to encourage purchase of goods produced in U.S. deserves support
The concept of encouraging the purchase of American-made products is certainly not new.
On the federal level, the Buy American Act was passed in 1933 by Congress and signed by President Herbert Hoover. It required the United States government to prefer U.S.-made products in its purchases.
‘Stop Meth, Not Meds’ backed by readers
In West Virginia, there is something referred to as “stop-sale technology” that prevents a person from going to more than one pharmacy to purchase over-the-counter medication that contains the active ingredient pseudoephedrine, a nasal decongestant.
It’s not an issue of stuffy noses that lawmakers were worried about when they created the system.
Even small steps play part in critical mission to reduce childhood obesity
Just two years ago, more than one-third of children and adolescents were overweight or obese, meaning they had excess body weight based on their height.
It’s a troubling statistic, and one that health officials have worked diligently to reverse.
Cutting-edge heart procedure at Mon General is saving lives
“I used to think I wouldn’t live to be 50. Well, I made it to 50 and then some,” Pearl Walls said.
Walls is likely alive today and able to tell her story to the Times West Virginian because of a cutting-edge procedure performed at Monongalia General Hospital — a Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR), which was only approved for use by the FDA in 2011.
Celebrate Dr. Seuss’ many works, magic words
You know his words.
You know them well.
Funds donated to United Way make community healthier, happier, safer place
A dollar you give to the United Way of Marion County could feed a hungry family.
That dollar could protect a woman and her children from an abuser.
Or the dollar could mean that a family receives credit counseling to lift them out of overwhelming debt.
It could fund Scouting programs, where boys and girls learn lifelong lessons.
Project Launchpad puts critical concept of diversifying state economy into play
The case for diversifying the state of West Virginia’s economy is past the point of debate.
While it is our hope that coal can continue to have a role in our nation’s power-generating matrix, we’ve learned our lesson about over-dependence on a single industry. Particularly being overly dependent on an industry that, in the eyes of federal regulators, is out of fashion.
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- Coal industry can’t afford to give this administration and EPA more ammunition