Thursday, November 12, 2009

Reading + Running = Time for Teachers + Parents

An article in Monday's Skagit Valley Herald focuses on a reading-and-running program at Mary Purcell Elementary (Sedro-Wooley SD), in which students spend the last 15 minutes of the school day either reading a book or running laps outside.

According to the article, "The end-of-day reading and running program is meant to keep the kids occupied as their teachers use the time to contact parents on student progress."

The previous school year, students were sent to art and music classes and occasionally the library while teachers contacted parents. But, because the music teacher, art teacher and librarian positions were cut this year, the school came up with a Plan B: reading and running.

It's an interesting solution to the issue of teacher-parent contact time—time that had almost been cut from teachers' schedules until an 11th-hour agreement in contract negotiations brought it back. But the solution is not without problems. Some parents say the end-of-the-day program amounts to a "complete waste of time," while many teachers are still concerned about the broader issue of losing the specialists in art, music, technology and library.
Are there any other schools out there with a successful reading and running programs? If so, we'd love to hear from you!

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