No Change in Length of Cambridge K-8 school day

No Change in Length of Cambridge K-8 school day

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rebecca coyne started this petition to ksalim@cpsd.us and

Dear Families, Educators, and Community Members,

I'm writing to express my continued frustration with the process for collecting feedback regarding the proposed increase to the K-8 school day in Cambridge. At each step in this process, families have been consulted for feedback, but at each point, there is never an option to voice a lack of support for extending the day

I think we all know that adding more time is often the easy answer to tough problems - haven't we all said at one point or another "If I only had more hours in a day", but at the same time if we are honest with ourselves it is often not more time that is the answer, but how we use the time we have. While I am certainly supportive of CPS's goal to narrow the achievement gap and provide a joyful learning experience for all students; I have zero expectations that extending the school day will achieve this goal. Instead, I fear there will be numerous negative unanticipated or unintentional consequences to extending the school day, to name a few possibilities:

- extra time resulting in students (both those who struggle in school and advance learners who are often not challenged enough) becoming disengaged, bored, or disruptive due to too much structured learning time

-extra time causing students to eliminate extra-curricular enrichment activities because they are tired from a long school day

- teachers spending the additional time they have continuing to focus on the few students in every class who always demand the most attention while other students are still left without much individualized instruction

- teachers not being able to manage their new commutes (these new school times will force many to commute during heavily trafficked times of day) along with their own family/life commitments and being forced to leave the district

- resourced families feeling frustrated with this change and pulling their students out of the public school system which has a negative impact on the entire school community

- longer days resulting in less family participation in evening school activities thus actually weakening family home/school connections

 

Furthermore, if we really want to increase the quality of the educational experience for all students and attempt the close the achievement gap, there is much evidence to show that a lower student/teacher ratio is always the good standard - why not invest the additional funds needed to expand the school day into funding additional staff in the existing school day instead? Or why has Cambridge drifted from the previous focus of having different schools focus on different specialty areas - is the reasons schools feel more pressured for time because they are all now trying to be all things to all people? Why not have schools that offered extended days, schools that focus on music, schools that focus on sciences, schools with world language, and generalist schools to suit varying family needs and interests?

Please join me in voicing your support to demand the Superintendent and School Committee explore other options to expand resources available to our children that will truly make a positive impact.  Let them know extended school days are not the answer.

 

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