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Re: [howardpubliced] summer assignments

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  • cynthia vaillancourt
    Guidelines written by the Board of Education aren t policy - just suggestions? If it weren t true it would be funny. Unfortunately, there are many instances
    Message 1 of 4 , Jul 1, 2005
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      Guidelines written by the Board of Education aren't "policy" - just suggestions?
       
      If it weren't true it would be funny.
       
      Unfortunately, there are many instances where our elected BOE believes it has made its' intentions clear - but in practice their decisions are just ... suggestions.
       
      Is it a question of "who's really in charge here"?
       
      Cindy Vaillancourt
       
       
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Joanne Heckman
      Sent: Friday, July 01, 2005 12:23 AM
      To: howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [howardpubliced] summer assignments
       
      Everyone,

      I'm interested in hearing from parents with kids at the different high
      schools. Are your kids being given mandatory reading and/or study
      assignments to complete over the summer? What makes these assignments
      mandatory is that the student is warned that there will be a graded
      test on the material during the first week of school in the fall. (If
      there is no graded test right away, the reading list can be considered
      a suggestion, not an assignment).

      The Homework Guidelines posted on the HCPSS website seem pretty clear
      on this point. The last paragraph says:

      " There will be no mandatory homework given over the summer. Any work
      assigned over the summer will be voluntary and non-graded enrichment
      activities. Reading lists will be available during the summer, as well
      as throughout the school year, as a service to students who want an
      opportunity to work ahead."

      I asked Susan Shown (the Board's secretary) about this, and she said
      that although the guidelines were written and approved by the Board of
      Education, they aren't policy. There are some other examples like this
      on the website. The Code of Conduct isn't a policy, and the Internet
      Use Guidelines aren't a policy either. But they certainly give the
      appearance of being rules, not just suggestions.

      The result is that some classes at some schools have instituted
      year-round schooling. I'm sure it helps the teacher to get 2-4 books
      read by the first day of school. But it doesn't seem to me that the
      teacher has any authority over students before the first day of
      school. What if you just moved here that day? Would you have to read
      "Crime and Punishment" on Monday and Tuesday and be expected to take
      the graded assessment on Wednesday?

      The principal at River Hill just sent out an email reassuring parents
      that, although a reading list was included with the report cards, the
      reading is not mandatory and students won't be immediately tested on
      it when school resumes. I think this should be the case at all high
      schools but I know it's not. Does anyone have any other examples of
      local practices?

      Thanks--

      Joanne




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    • Allen Dyer
      the is NOT in charge. the practice (lack thereof) of the board trumps statutory law. allen ... From: cynthia vaillancourt To:
      Message 2 of 4 , Jul 1, 2005
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        the is NOT in charge. the practice (lack thereof) of the board trumps statutory law.

        allen

        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "cynthia vaillancourt" <CynthiaVaillancourt@...>
        To: "howardpubliced" <howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Friday, July 01, 2005 10:05 AM
        Subject: Re: [howardpubliced] summer assignments


        Guidelines written by the Board of Education aren't "policy" - just suggestions?

        If it weren't true it would be funny.

        Unfortunately, there are many instances where our elected BOE believes it has made its' intentions
        clear - but in practice their decisions are just ... suggestions.

        Is it a question of "who's really in charge here"?

        Cindy Vaillancourt


        ----- Original Message -----
        From: Joanne Heckman
        Sent: Friday, July 01, 2005 12:23 AM
        To: howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [howardpubliced] summer assignments

        Everyone,

        I'm interested in hearing from parents with kids at the different high
        schools. Are your kids being given mandatory reading and/or study
        assignments to complete over the summer? What makes these assignments
        mandatory is that the student is warned that there will be a graded
        test on the material during the first week of school in the fall. (If
        there is no graded test right away, the reading list can be considered
        a suggestion, not an assignment).

        The Homework Guidelines posted on the HCPSS website seem pretty clear
        on this point. The last paragraph says:

        " There will be no mandatory homework given over the summer. Any work
        assigned over the summer will be voluntary and non-graded enrichment
        activities. Reading lists will be available during the summer, as well
        as throughout the school year, as a service to students who want an
        opportunity to work ahead."

        I asked Susan Shown (the Board's secretary) about this, and she said
        that although the guidelines were written and approved by the Board of
        Education, they aren't policy. There are some other examples like this
        on the website. The Code of Conduct isn't a policy, and the Internet
        Use Guidelines aren't a policy either. But they certainly give the
        appearance of being rules, not just suggestions.

        The result is that some classes at some schools have instituted
        year-round schooling. I'm sure it helps the teacher to get 2-4 books
        read by the first day of school. But it doesn't seem to me that the
        teacher has any authority over students before the first day of
        school. What if you just moved here that day? Would you have to read
        "Crime and Punishment" on Monday and Tuesday and be expected to take
        the graded assessment on Wednesday?

        The principal at River Hill just sent out an email reassuring parents
        that, although a reading list was included with the report cards, the
        reading is not mandatory and students won't be immediately tested on
        it when school resumes. I think this should be the case at all high
        schools but I know it's not. Does anyone have any other examples of
        local practices?

        Thanks--

        Joanne




        This is the Howard Public Education Mailing List. All original messages posted here are placed in
        the public domain unless the poster states otherwise. Re-published messages (i.e. newspaper
        articles) retain their original copyright status.
        Yahoo! Groups Links
      • nails1228@aol.com
        My son is an incoming freshman at Atholton. He was not given a reading list for the summer, but, their web site does give a reading list and assignments for
        Message 3 of 4 , Jul 2, 2005
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          My son is an incoming freshman at Atholton.  He was not given a reading list for the summer, but, their web site does give a reading list and assignments for the GT English students.  Before school ended, I emailed the teacher on that list to ask if there were any books the Honors English 9 students should/could be reading this summer but I didn't get a reply.  Since he will be reading several books this summer, I would've been happy to have a some suggestions, but, we didn't get any.  I don't mind him reading teenage boy version of trash, but, I want him to read good stuff too.  He is, by the way, reading the GT books -- I figure it can't hurt.  Getting him to do the writing assignments might be another story!!!
           
          Deb
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