I received a phone call Thursday afternoon. It was from the Warren County School System.
The automated message relayed to me that Friday will be an abbreviated school day, but that attendance would still be counted. The message stressed that students not in attendance on Friday would be counted absent.
The message got me thinking about the purpose of this abbreviated school day, which is very much abbreviated at just two hours long. It starts at 7:45 a.m. and is over at 9:45 a.m. From an educational standpoint, the day is meaningless.
To be clear, I don't have a problem with the Warren County School System taking attendance and counting students absent that day. State lawmakers have deemed it an official day of school so it should be treated as such from an attendance standpoint.
My contention is this. The abbreviated day should be eliminated from the school calendar as a required day of school because it's a complete waste of time and money.
State law dictates there shall be 180 days of school in a calendar year. However, in an idea that might have originated during a night of drinking, it has been deemed by the state that two of those 180 days can be abbreviated days.
We'll run buses and get everyone out of bed so school can start at 7:45 a.m. only to run buses and send everyone home after two hours of eating cookies and potato chips. From a dietary standpoint, to a global warming standpoint, there is no merit to sending children to school for two hours.
State officials are always looking for new and dynamic ways to improve state government. Here's an easy solution that's staring them straight in the face. Eliminate the two-hour day which serves no educational purpose and modify the rules to have students go to school for 178 full days a year.
I know, it sounds radical.
Would any valuable instruction time be lost if the state were to implement such a plan? No.
Would thousands and thousands of dollars be saved on just the fuel costs of running buses? Yes!
Teachers would not doubt enjoy the change. This is just an educated guess, but I think 10 out of 10 teachers would probably appreciate an extra day off instead of babysitting a classroom of students hyped up on cupcakes and candy corn.
State leaders are scratching their heads at ways we can better treat our teachers so here's my idea. Don't make them endure a senseless two-hour day of school.
It should be noted that during these abbreviated days, not one school book is opened and not one lesson is taught. It's a time for watching movies, eating junk food, and bouncing off the walls.
The two-hour school day is a classic example of our government wasting our tax dollars.
Students who don't show up will be counted absent, but perhaps they should also be given an award for having common sense.
Standard editor James Clark can be reached at 473-2191.