Bus plan could hurt young students

Published 9:41 pm Wednesday, March 26, 2014

To the editor:

A study by the National Commission on Time and Learning states, “Time should be adjusted to meet the educational needs of learners, rather than the administrative convenience of adults.”

As a parent of Creekside Elementary School student, a licensed educator and former early childhood education teacher, I am deeply concerned that the School Board is considering a change to its transportation plan that would be harmful to children.

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As a parent, I find it inappropriate that Creekside students would arrive home at 5 p.m. or later under one of the options being considered to solve the bus transportation logistical issues. Students ages 5 through 11 would arrive home after dark during the winter months. That leaves no time for play, family time, enrichment activities and homework.

Anecdotal evidence from years of classroom experience suggests that young children function better in the morning, and “banker’s hours” for young children are not suggested in any research.

The Creekside Elementary School population consists of an ethnically and socioeconomically diverse community. It is a Title 1 school. Unfortunately, many of the families included in this population work jobs that don’t allow time to go to meetings. They don’t have access to meeting minutes or agendas or computers.

They don’t understand how and they don’t have the time or energy to advocate for their children’s educational interests. Many trust that decisions being made regarding their child’s education are solely based on best practices in education.

The School Board should make our children a priority and make Creekside Elementary School a priority by selecting the transportation proposal that does the least harm to children.

It seems to me that a marginalized community should make the education and well being of its children top priority.

Children are children first and need the united support of community leaders to see that their education allows them to develop socially and emotionally, as well as academically.

Ursula Baker

Suffolk