I am writing in response to Paul Gasiorowski's letter, "Teachers shouldn't need seminar time". It was filled with so much false information and misconceptions that I could not ignore it.
If you visit the District 15 website it specifically states that students will NOT lose any instruction time. Minutes will be added to the student's day Monday-Thursday to compensate for the early release on Fridays. Teachers will be teaching the same amount of time each week that they are now.
Also on the website, it states that this release time is part of a "give and take" package the teacher's union and school board agreed on. The teacher's "gave" the district the ability to correct pay steps so there didn't have to be severe budget cuts. In turn, the teachers "took" the release time to allow them more time to develop their skills. I don't see this as "giving them everything they want." I see it as a compromise!
Last but not least, Mr. Gasiorowski stated if someone has been teaching for several years they should know how to do their job, and therefore, have no need for this release time. I wish people who have not worked in a school would quit assuming they know what it is about. The job, like many, is constantly evolving — new testing standards, new technology, and new ways to reach students of all abilities are constantly being implemented. Not to mention they start every fall with a new group of students.
As a resident, parent, and yes, an employee (program assistant) of District 15, I have faith that the majority of our teachers are professionals and taking attendance on Fridays won't be necessary!
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