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?
Roll up your sleeves, give blood and you can save lives
It takes up to 100 units of blood to save the life of someone who sustains life-threatening injuries in a vehicle accident.
We’re hoping that the number of people who come to Fairmont Senior High School on Friday for and American Red Cross blood drive will exceed that amount.
Vehicles and motorcycles must share the road safely
The days are long. The weather is superb. There’s plenty of leisure time in these lazy days of summer.
It’s the perfect time to take a long motorcycle ride.
It’s also the perfect opportunity for us to take the time to remind not only riders but drivers of the need to share the road. And we feel compelled to mention it because just within the month of July, there have been two motorcycle-versus-car accidents within the City of Fairmont alone — one with severe injuries sustained by the motorcyclist and the other with less serious injury.
- Too many taking too few steps to protect selves from skin cancer
Distracted driving: It isn’t worth fine or a life
Today marks the day that police agencies from six states are joining forces to crack down on one thing — distracted driving.
And they will focus on that traffic violation for a solid week, with the stepped-up effort to curb distracted driving wrapping up on Saturday, July 26.
COLUMN: Are we people watchers or people judgers?
Let me tell you about my little friend Robby. Well, actually, it’s more about his family and especially his mom. I didn’t get her name. I heard Robby’s name quite a bit, though, during a trip home from Birmingham, Alabama.
I noticed the family in the Birmingham airport immediately. They were just the kind of family you’d notice.
Relish the rich bounty of state’s diverse, unique food traditions
This week, a group of federal officials on a three-day culinary tour of the state visited the Greenbrier Valley to find out what most of us here already know — we have a rich food tradition in West Virginia.
The group was made up of officials from the Appalachian Regional Commission, the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Soup Opera in need of your support again this time of year
It’s happening again.
It usually always happens about this time each year. Sometimes it’s a little earlier and sometimes a little later.
But Soup Opera executive director Shelia Tennant knows it will come — usually in July. And she’s never that surprised about it.
County honors men who gave all in helping their community
The next time you’re driving in the Rivesville area, you might notice new signs on two of the area’s bridges.
Those signs, which bear the names of Alex Angelino and Denzil O. Lockard, were unveiled Saturday in honor of the men whose names they display, two men who died while serving their communities.
The bridge on U.S. 19 over Paw Paw Creek was named to honor Lockard, while the bridge on U.S. 19 over Pharaoh Run Creek was named to honor Angelino. Lockard, a former Rivesville police chief, died in 1958 at the age of 48 while directing traffic. Angelino, a Rivesville firefighter, died at the age of 43 of a heart attack while fighting a fire in 1966.
State must learn to keep costs down and perform more efficiently on less
The West Virginia state government began its budget year last Tuesday with a small surplus of $40 million — less than 1 percent of its annual tax revenues — thanks only to dipping into its savings.
Let’s not do that again.
Long-range vision with transportation has been made to be thing of proud past
Last week’s closure of Fairmont’s Fourth Street Bridge is a symbol of a problem that must be fixed.
The United States should be proud of the vision its leaders once displayed to address the country’s transportation needs.
Back in 1954, for example, President Dwight D. Eisenhower announced his goal of an interstate highway system — something that transformed the country.
- More Opinion Headlines
- Roll up your sleeves, give blood and you can save lives