In an open letter to the community earlier this week, Superintendent Gerry Washburn provided some disturbing numbers about the state of education due to the pandemic. According to Washburn, 48 percent of our high school students are failing at least one class. This academic setback is the case across the state, and across the nation.
In attempt to address this issue, state legislators added funding for districts who extend next year’s school year. The school district can leave next year’s calendar alone (and lose about $1.7 million), add ten days to the calendar (and add about $2.25 million) or add 25 days to next year, which would add about $11.4 million.
While it is certainly true that adding funding, or additional school days, doesn’t resolve the academic setback by itself, legislators believe we have to do something to make up for the academic setback. There are also issues of student socialization and teacher well being to consider. It would certainly be challenging to find a way to use extra days added in 2022 to make up for lost learning in 2020.
There aren’t any easy answers here, but the school district is planning to make a recommendation to the board on May 18. If you have any questions or thoughts about this topic, please contact Superintendent Washburn at firstname.lastname@example.org.
From the office of Mayor Dale Janway