As one of the 1,594 who responded to the parent survey regarding the modified school year, I have to wonder why I was asked to do so. 72.5 percent of those responding were happy. Obviously, there are those on the school board who were not. Is Ms. Daniels one of those?
My first reaction to Ms. Daniels' statement, "A lot of those could have been filled out by the students," was wondering how she dare make such a statement. If that had been a real concern before the results of the survey were in, a different way to learn parents' opinions should have been implemented. The only conclusion that I can draw from her statement is that the thought of students filling out the survey did not occur to her or the board before the surveys were sent. We were led to believe that parents' opinions matter. It is clear, by the action of the school board, that they do not.
And what kind of statement is, "I like the idea of just setting one calendar -- trying it and see how it goes?" Is it a statement of fairness, or does it actually say that Ms. Holmes got the calendar that she wanted? A calendar was "set" when the modified school year was adopted in 2001. Based on the survey results, it appears that we already had a set calendar that was working.
The statement by Mr. Weissenfels "...the vast majority of staff prefers the modified calendar and I think that is because the teachers have found there is more retention of material with shorter breaks," leads me to wonder what the teachers' opinions of the current calendar is. Does that statement indicate that the teachers are happy with the way it is and see no reason to change the calendar? If it does, then apparently the opinions of teachers don't matter either.
It seems to me that the school board has its own agenda, that they have the power to ignore the opinions of the parents and teachers in this community, and they will use it.
I have only one child left in Payson schools. He has only one more year, so this decision has little effect on him or me. I will, however, continue to vote for school board members and care about the education of Payson children. Because of that, I want to know why the school board disregarded the results of the survey. I want to know if any one of them deserves my vote, should they run for re-election. All concerned parents should want to know.
We need to know how many parents called school board members requesting a change to the calendar and which members received such calls. Does it help to know the right people when it comes to our children's education? If it does, then I recommend to those parents who still have years of education in Payson schools to get to know each board member personally, become their friend. That may be the only way to have their opinions matter.
Susan Grubbs, Payson