Garza listens to supporters of full-day Mondays

The final stop of Superintendent Karen Garza’s listening tour of Fairfax County was held at Lake Braddock Secondary School February 24. The Connection reports that half-day Mondays and the length of school days were among the concerns brought up by parents:

Lisa Daniel said at the meeting that she is concerned with instructional time in schools, especially due to standardized testing pressures.

“We’re trying to squeeze too much into too little time,” Daniel said of half-day Mondays for elementary school students in Fairfax County.

Michele Menapace, a former president of the Fairfax County Council of PTAs, also attended the meeting and reports that four of the 21 speakers supported full-day Mondays. “One of the speakers in favor of restoring full-day Mondays was a teacher, who said only 1 Monday a month is free for teacher planning time.  The other 3 Mondays are consumed by meetings or mandated activities that co-opt planning.”

Michele also reports that five of the speakers supported later start times and two speakers supported “more recess, less homework and/or more free play to encourage socialization, mediation, etc. (not to mention reducing stress.

“The other topics mentioned by more than one speaker:  less testing, improved autism instruction & better training for autism teachers, the school budget & CIP data.”

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