We are writing this letter to state some concerns with the four-day change that Superintendent Sheryl McNellis-Martinez has proposed.
First off, we would like to say it is an exciting idea to cut back days for more instruction time, but at the same time, it has a major effect and impact on students and parents who can’t cope with this schedule change.
Many of the students in Las Vegas City Schools live outside of Las Vegas in areas such as Sapello and Watrous. With an hour setback, these students would get home at a later time, and some may have chores at home, such as feeding animals. In the winter months, it would be much harder for the students to get home, especially at such a late hour. And with many students in sports or clubs, or any other activities, they would be getting home a lot later than other students in the district. Homework would be a big concern because the students may not get it done because of the hour they get home.
If the school district does this, many students wouldn’t have access to meals on Fridays, which many families rely on.
Many students have parents who both work and don’t have a place to go on Fridays and don’t have the money to send them to the rec center no matter what the discount may be.
Other towns that have a four-day week can do this because they are small and are tightly-knit with relatives, neighbors and friends.
Also, if the school district can afford to keep schools open on Fridays for tutoring, then why can’t they afford to keep students in school all day?
We think it’s better to keep the schedules the way they are instead of cutting back on a day during the week and adding an hour to the school day. It is better to have a fresh mind on Fridays than to have a tired mind for that extra hour. Perhaps the school district could add 15 minutes to the school day, cutting back on school days and having excess time for make-up days for snow days at the end of the year. Fifteen minutes won’t be as big of an impact on students.
We would appreciate it if the school board listens to our concerns regarding the schedule changes.
Editor’s note: Amador Gonzales is an eighth-grader at Memorial Middle School. He said he wrote this after talking with some friends about the issue.