Dear Dr. Murphy
My son, Thomas, is enrolled in the third grade at Hometown Elementary School. In looking at the school calendar he brought home yesterday for the month of October, I notice that there are five days when the children are to be released at noon, to allow for teacher's meetings on those days.
It has been my experience with half days for school children that half days do not result in a positive situation for education. I don't believe that much learning occurs during these days, and it certainly creates havoc for the schedules of working parents.
I am asking if there is any reason not to schedule full days off for teacher's meetings. I think that it would make more sense to have an extended weekend with the children than to disrupt the schedule on two working days.
I would like to suggest an alternative. I would suggest that an alternative arrangement would be the use of special programs at school for the children during those afternoons, while the teaching staff participates in training sessions. Perhaps some parents could volunteer to assist as teachers' aides and administrative staff on those days.Sincerely