Giving school districts the ability to set their own start dates

September 1, 2018

Editor, Daily Times:

As another retired elementary/special needs teacher of the Watertown Unified School District, I agreed wholeheartedly with the Voice of the People letter of Aug. 27 in reference to the Aug. 22 editorial about giving school districts the ability to set their own start dates versus the state law of after Sept. 1. Starting earlier in August (having three days of school, then four for the Labor Day holiday and, finally, a five-day school week) eased the students back into the year. Though parents may have found it a bit inconvenient, they would not have appreciated my ideal start of the year: one week of students followed by one week of no students/teacher plan time to readjust all of our initial lesson plans to meet the unique needs of the new group of students we have now gotten to know in the school setting.

One last thought on those hot, humid days: though our wonderful, new (opened 22 years ago) high school has air conditioning, many of our elementary schools do not, as it was too costly to add when some of the schools were remodeled. It is sad to me that our state has so much money to give to businesses like Foxconn, but not to ensure that even our youngest students have air conditioning that most of us in 2018 are used to wherever we go.

As the new school year begins, I ask that everyone in the community to please take some time to thank and encourage the teachers and staff who work so diligently and enthusiastically to teach, and nurture the children you entrust to them.

Pauline Sukow

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