Teachers concerned about possible earlier start date for school year
By Brian D. Wilson
Santa Paula News
Published: February 27, 2013
Several teachers spoke before the Santa Paula Unified School District board Thursday night about their concerns over a possible earlier start date for the next school year.
Although a school calendar has yet to be determined, apparently word has gotten around the district that the school year could start as early as August 1. All of the speakers talked about the hot August weather and the high temperatures in the classrooms.
Sean Miller told trustees, The months of August and September chase the mercury past 100 degrees, producing classrooms that reach 94 and higher. He said fans only drop the temperature to 92 degrees. Children cannot learn in this environment, he added.
Dolores Britton said starting the school year after Labor Day would be much better. This would mean we could teach during the cooler days of the May gray and the June gloom and avoid the July fry and the August heat exhaustion, she told the board. High temperatures negatively affect mental performance, narrow attention and inhibit learning and memory. Why would you want to waste any of our precious 180 days just trying to survive the climate rather than actually being effective teachers and learners?
Other speakers echoed similar comments on the issue.
In other matters, the board agreed to a request from Chief Business Officer Donna Rose to allow staff from both the Santa Paula Elementary and the Union High School districts to assist in merging the financial systems into one. They also approved hiring Anne Castleberg from the County Schools office as a consultant to assist in the financial merge. In addition, Marisela Hernandez, currently executive assistant to the Elementary District Superintendent, was hired to provide clerical support to the unified board through June 30.
The board will meet again Thursday, March 7 at 7 p.m. at the Santa Paula Community Center, 530 W. Main Street.