Give East Lyme Parents Say In School Day Length

Written by The Day Staff Writer.

 

TheDayTheDay

 

Hats off to Lydia Benedict for opening debate in East Lyme over whether it is a good idea to lengthen the school day (“Extending the school day won't improve learning,” April 10). I was shocked and dismayed when notified that next year's school day would be longer. At first I felt powerless to do anything to change this. Not anymore.

 

I attended and spoke against the extended school day at the public hearing on April 13. I don't want the superintendent to decide whether it is better for my son to be in school another half-hour. I hardly see my son as it is. This is a policy change that rips at the heart of what's most precious – that fleeting time where parents teach children the things that aren't taught at school.

 

I felt my plea fell on deaf ears. The message I got from the school board is that I was too late and should have been at the board meeting when this decision was made. I do all I can to get my son back and forth to athletic practices and games, do homework and participate in activities. Parents should not be punished and excluded from the decision-making process for being unable to attend a board meeting.

 

This change in the school days is arguably the biggest policy change to hit this district in a long time. The decision was made in a board room without our knowledge. Many parents voiced opposition to this plan at a meeting held over a year ago. We were assured this idea would be revisited, not instituted in a later board meeting that was not attended by parents. A policy change this big should be done after all parents and teachers have a say and a vote.