Nine parents attended the second Payson Unified School District (PUSD) Parent Advisory Committee meeting on Thursday, Nov. 29.
Superintendent Ron Hitchcock started the committee to keep in touch with parents, address their concerns and discuss topics of interest.
On Thursday, he had hoped to address two topics: the new school schedule that the board will vote on at its Dec. 17 meeting and a survey the committee is creating to determine how parents feel about the district.
What he heard, however, was an earful from the all-mother attendees about the school schedule and extra curricular activity scheduling.
“I would just appreciate knowing the schedule so I can plan,” said Laurel Wala. Her son, a high school sophomore, participates in the marching band, cross country team and the Academic Decathlon class. Wala said she had to leave him behind from a family trip during the October break because of practices – some scheduled at the last minute.
Wala said the coaches and directors claimed the October practices were not mandatory, but threatened to affect her son’s grade if he did not attend.
Hitchcock had opened the meeting by passing out the new 2013-14 school schedule which eliminated the two half days per month set aside for teacher in-service, or continuing education.
“Our number 1 goal to focus on is student achievement,” said Hitchcock, “This calendar allows us to focus on 179 full days of instruction instead of 161.”
The parents agreed with the new calendar, but made clear there is still much work to do before they will be satisfied with the results.