Concerns about overcrowding at L.V. Rogers combined with the plan to move grade eights into the high school has created a call for more funding.
If you walk the hallways at LVR past 3:30 p.m. it is eerily quiet, yet we pay to heat that building until people return around 8:00 a.m. the next weekday. Pressures for increased government services and reduced taxation mean we can no longer afford for publicly funded institutions to be underutilized for many hours each day.
The school schedule was created when students of all ages attended one school. Research shows that sleep patterns of younger children enable them to be ready for learning much earlier than adolescents. Hormones and brain development mean many teens function better later in the day, so simply going to bed earlier will not help them be ready for an early start.
The current school schedule also reflected a time when “normal” families had nine-to-five jobs and maybe one parent at home. The new normal includes a wide range of lifestyles and schedules that are challenged by the rigid public school approach.
Let’s inject creativity into this conversation. Let’s imagine our high school as a dynamic learning hub with classes and activities operating from 8:00 to 8:00 seven days a week.
Youth would be free to engage in other forms of learning in the community and with their families at various times rather than confined to after school or the weekend.
How many adults now have weekends? We need to prepare our youth for the reality of their future, not keep them chained to the past.
But, but…..yes, there would be a ripple effect so there needs to be discussions with community organizations, families, teachers and support staff, those who schedule buses, etc.
Our community must embrace the challenges of implementing change, which starts with creatively defining options before racing to brace up a status quo that is no longer working.