Superintendent takes time away from students; parents in Connecticut district protest

Last month Wayne C. Sweeney, superintendent of Windsor Locks Public Schools, wrote a letter to parents announcing his decision to dismiss students one hour early each Monday in the 2011-2012  school year so that teachers would have Professional Learning Community (PLC) time.  After receiving this letter sent home with their children on the last day of school, several parents spoke at the June 23 school board meeting to protest the decision and the way it was made without consulting parents.

According to the meeting minutes, Amy Mackey asked why parents were not notified or included in this decision by way of a public forum so questions could be asked and opinions could be heard.  Kevin Brace discussed the economic effect this will have on parents. He said his employer is not going to be willing for him to leave early every Monday to retrieve his children from the school bus. Jennifer Webb said she was appalled that she received the letter about this new policy on the last day of school.  Andra Morrell and Mary Ellen Smith pointed out that other districts have PLC time before and after school so students will not lose any time.

Jason Harris of the Windsor Locks-East Windsor Patch reported that parents had another opportunity to criticize this decision at the July 14 school board meeting.

Parent Douglas Hamilton said that Windsor Locks ranks 146th out of 161 school districts in the state. He said that the cutting back on the number of interactive hours between students and teachers is “heading in the wrong direction.”

“Can our children really afford to lose those 33 hours of instruction?” parent Jennifer Webb said. “The assessment data is telling us no,” she added.

I posted a comment stating that parents deserve a voice in important decisions regarding school hours.

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