Dear Honorable Trustees,
I, Tanmayi Amanchi, Freshman at Dublin High School from Mrs. Cunningham Advanced English Class, am writing with some concerns about the school district adopting a new day and calendar to follow the Presidents appeal. I am writing to request the board, to not consider Obama administration and Arne Duncans argument for extending the school day and school year.
I welcome the initiative to give students a well-rounded education with additional school hours. Students can learn more, get more work done and catch up with anything needed to be done or any missing material. With less class time, teachers spend as well less time on interaction with kids and therefore tend to bypass questions. However, with extra time allotted to each class, teachers can patiently go over subjects and answer questions more thoroughly. Students can also reflect upon what they have learned in class. They can also do their homework during school hours thereby having more time for sleep and relax.
On the other hand, I think the extension of school days puts more pressure on teachers. Creating meaningfully expanded and extended learning opportunities takes a lot of time, effort, and care. "Teachers and instruction are still the most important factors more so than time," (Barth: Huffpost Ed.) said Patte, the director of the Center for Public Education Review. My concern is that teachers may not have enough time for class preparation and are likely to take the route of the least effort to prepare lessons for their students. It may result in extra class time at the end of the day with little learning, lots of free time, and many opportunities for mischief. "Free time in a place of learning is a recipe for disaster," (Myer: A Longer School Day?) said Bob, a blogger.
Studies show that over the last 30 years, children have seen their free time evaporate, (Abeles: Students lack school-life balance) said Vicki, a columnist at USA Today. Todays kids are already under a lot of stress trying to balance time for after-school activities. By extending school days, I am worried that the initiative could lead to unintended consequences, as by putting unnecessary pressure on kids, thereby their education prospects can be harmed as well as their health. As a result, one could see a decline in their grades and extracurricular achievements.
As you can see, students would have less time for friends, family, and extracurricular pursuits with extended school day and school year, thereby not meeting their developmental needs and not cultivating their critical life skills. This kind of busy schedule, by its very nature, discourages learning and instead promotes studying simply to get grades. So, I please request the board, to help in cultivating learning and development in students, by not approving the proposal for longer school day and school year.
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