Bill Lyons | Are We Shorting Our Kids?

Letters to the Editor
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I read with interest Caleb Lunetta’s June 27 piece on declining enrollment at Newhall public schools. Superintendent Jeff Pelzel was quoted saying, “Students need to be in school every day to maximize their learning.” (Emphasis mine). The rest of the article dealt with revenue problems, not learning opportunities. I perceive a contradiction. 

According to the district’s calendar, there are 156 instruction days in the year, 37 of which are “half days.” Normal school hours are 8 to 3, but only 8 to noon on half days. Considering the ultimate destination of our kids is industry or business with typically 238 eight-hour working days, does it seem we’re shorting Newhall students by nearly 50%? Are we pandering to teachers and staff with short hours? 

As an ex-teacher (adjunct), I appreciate the time it takes to prepare for class, but I contend that after the first year, prep time shrinks substantially. OK, young kids aren’t up to the rigors of working men and women, but high schoolers? 

Well, not to worry. It doesn’t matter that Lithuania’s students do better than Newhall kids.

Bill Lyons

Santa Clarita

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