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New school plan would help some at the expense of others

Jun 28, 2012 Lorna Clarke, Riverton


This is an open letter to all parents of Riverton Middle School students.

The school board is proposing a new schedule for the 2012-13 school year that would add another full-length class called Remediation and Enrichment.

This class would allow the kids who are not at grade level standards to get the extra help that they need and deserve.

The other children, however, will not be afforded the same opportunity to further their learning in math and language arts. Instead of being challenged to build their vocabulary and increase their comprehension of more advanced texts or sharpen their math skills, the school has chosen to take away academic time from these students.

Their idea of "enrichment" includes classes that are simply an extension of the physical education class, which the school already has in place. Things such as archery and walking, for example. Some of the other classes such as drama and robotics have little academic merit and would be better suited as an after school activity that students could choose to do, instead of taking up precious learning time.

Another thing they intend to is to take away yet another 30 min. of learning from the majority of students on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. This 30 minutes would be called Spartan. Time. The reason this class is being created is because of the school's inability to get the current extended day program to work for the kids that need to utilize it.

Instead of allowing the children who have assignments to complete, or need more time with their teachers to better understand a concept stay after school, the school's solution is to take 30 minutes of learning time away from the students who don't require this extra help and have them spend it doing activities such as watching movies and beading.

I do not send my child to school to waste valuable learning time watching TV. Between "enrichment" and Spartan Time, one hour and 20 min. of learning time has been stolen from the majority of students. The most despicable part of this, is that the school would receive a large grant to do this.

I encourage everyone to contact the RMS principal to find out more about this and let the school board know your feelings.

I do not understand why a group of highly educated people with master and doctorate degrees think that the only way to help struggling students achieve grade level mastery is at the expense of the other students' education.

The goal of any school should be to push each student to learn. the most that they can, regardless of their learning level.

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