We cannot believe what we just read! Is Barry Paschal saying that parents who wanted the later school start date, Calendar A, "just want another week at the beach" and that only "educators see the importance of the classroom?" (column, March 19, "Splitting baby isn't very wise").
As the parents of a straight A, gifted student in a Columbia County elementary school, and as parents who are very involved in our son's education, the implication that this is just about a longer vacation is incredibly insulting. Starting school the first week of August is simply just too early!
Growing up we always started school after Labor Day, and yes, we even had our exams after the Christmas break. We find it amazing that the core of this debate had to do with having exams after the break. Are we saying that our children cannot retain the information that was taught to them over the entire semester during their two week break? That doesn't speak well for our students and it insults our dedicated teachers. Is there anything wrong with sending our children home over the holidays with a "study guide" to review instead of spending endless hours in front of the TV or playing video games?
Yes, we were very disappointed in the low voter turnout, but then this survey was not given the importance it deserved by the school board. A survey should have been sent home with every student in the county with their weekly papers. That way you would have had a truer response.
Regardless of how Paschal may attempt to torture the results to suit his ends, the facts speak for themselves: 63 percent of the participants rejected the early August start date. To insinuate that the only motivation driving this effort was "another week at the beach" is absurd! Shame on you, Barry Paschal!
Louis & Sheila Pedraza
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