Child care to be offered during early dismissals

Reacting to complaints from parents about the new policy of dismissing students an hour early every Monday, the board of education (BOE) in Windsor Locks recently voted to use paraprofessionals to provide one hour of child care for younger students affected by early dismissals.

Gregory A. Scibelli of Reminder News reported  that a protocol for parents wanting to have their children supervised at school is pending. School began August 29 in this Connecticut school district. BOE Chairman Patricia King said that parents will be responsible for transportation home at the end of the hour.

Superintendent Wayne C. Sweeney had written a letter to parents in June 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.


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.