Just got back from a meeting at the school about instituting the four-day week. I estimate perhaps 30 adults were present. Such a radical move brings all kinds of questions to mind. Why would a school system want to change such a tradition?
The superintendent explained the schools position very well I thought in the PowerPoint explanation board was very thorough with detailed explanations that addressed a wide variety of questions the school has with regard to the need for making this change.
My initial thought was that given all the complexities I see listed in that presentation, the first of all this should never be happening. But it is. I see many realities from the PowerPoints that I was not aware of. The outstanding realization for me was the intense pressure upon the teachers and administration to successfully handle all the problems facing the system, many of which are completely out of the control of the district at the district has to deal with them the best way it can. This builds pressure upon everyone in the system and it now seems to be near the point of rupture, i.e., the need to relieve as much of the pressure as possible.
I thought the superintendent presented a detailed and well thought out plan of action for dealing with the complex developments we see surfacing in our district today. Many of these problems are the result of a declining society and unfortunately impossible to solve at the school takes the responsibility to go in there and get the job done.
I was against a four-day week like I'm against anything that I think reduces student learning but the underlying truth I think the superintendent was presenting was that because of matters quite beyond their control, the district must act and solve every problem it can. I mean when universities are beginning to shut down their education departments because of a lack of enrollment and very few young people want to put themselves through the pressure teachers have to go through every day, you have a real problem that comes right through the front doors of the school.
Public education is in real trouble in America. Society is in real trouble in America. But here tonight in Marshfield, Missouri, at the public meeting to address our challenges I was brought to an understanding. It didn't make me happy about what is happening but it did change my mind about the need to do this and it reinforced my trust in those in the district who work their tails off for our kids.
Editors note: The Marshfield Mail will have coverage of the next Marshfield School Board meeting, taking place Monday, Jan. 24.
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