School hours are too long

Red Phone: Low branches need to be cut

Dear Red Phone: “My daughter is in fourth grade at Eliot Elementary School. She starts at 7 a.m. For the last couple weeks they have made her stay an extra hour after school to prepare for the state test so she got out at 3:15 p.m. Basically I feel they are cramming. None of the other schools in Gilroy are doing this I believe.

“I’ve asked around and no one knows of anything like that. Today she came home and said she had to stay another hour. So now she is going to school from 7 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. It takes her about an hour or hour and half to do her homework.

“Then she has to take a shower and eat dinner. My children have a bedtime of 8 p.m. so there is no time for her to do anything. I don’t think it is right for students to have to go to school for nine hours.”

Dear Long Day In School: Back in the day when Red Phone was just a bunch of single wires connected together through an operator, kids used to go to school all day long – and walk in the snow uphill both ways. OK, they didn’t really walk uphill both ways, but they were in school a good portion of their young lives.

Eliot provides many optional programs at no cost meant to help students enhance their education such as after-school tutoring and PowerSchool, said Kathleen Taylor, the interim principal.

“Eliot, like many schools in the district, provides tutoring, intervention and enrichment opportunities before school, after school and on Saturdays to help students meet their goals for academic success,” Taylor said. “Most parents welcome the extra help for their students. They understand that their child is receiving concise, targeted instruction related to their academic needs.”

The tutoring is not a cram session to help improve the school’s generally high scores on state tests, but rather a way to help with “student mastery of grade level standards,” she said.

Along with the tutoring, the school has more than 180 students who attend PowerSchool until 6 p.m. daily, Taylor said.

“We strive to provide a meaningful and safe environment for students to grow,” she said.

Taylor said people are always welcome to contact her about their child’s involvement in the programs. You can reach her at 847-5333 or at [email protected]


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