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Advice For School Superintendent Dr. Pam Homan, School Board

Mark Twain Elementary School
Sioux Falls School District

There are over 20,000 students and several thousand employees in the Sioux Falls School District. Trying to implement a ‘one policy fits all situations’ is foolhardy. Apparently somebody on School Superintendent Dr. Pam Homan’s staff has found a “solution” for a problem which probably doesn’t exist.

Current school district policy is silent on the issue of children of teachers being allowed to be in the parents classroom before or after school. Information from district staff say about 92 students currently stay after school in their parents classroom until the parent leaves.

The proposed policy will take away that opportunity:

Except in an emergency or involved in an approved activity, no student including children of a District staff member, may be in the school building outside the reasonable period of time before and after school as designated by administration. The administration (IPC Staff) will set the hours a child can be in a school building. ”

Your bureaucracy has graciously included a grandfather clause of one year for teachers/staff to make other arrangements.

It is obvious those bureaucrats can’t imagine a teacher being able to concentrate on their work and watch their child at the same time. It is also obvious those same staff members want more children (revenue) in their KIDS, Inc. program.

Ironically the proposed policy will allow those same teachers and students to be at their work site on nights and week-ends. Just not during the day.

Chairman Doug Morrison, Todd Thoelke and the other board members, here is my advice:  stop this madness now.

As you know, Sioux Falls has the highest per capita of single, working moms in the area, if not the country. I know not every teacher in the district is a women, or single, but I hope you get the point.

Teachers spend many more hours doing their jobs than the 40 hour duty week you are implementing. Teachers spend money out of their own pockets to buy supplies which the district chooses not to put into the budget. Day care is expensive. You have had trouble hiring elementary teachers.

Here is my modest proposal:

Teachers and staff are invited to have their children or grandchildren with them before and after school hours under the following conditions: The child must be well behaved and not disrupt others. The work area must not require hard hats, or security clearance. The work area should not be ”high traffic” when the child is present. The principal or supervisor of each building has the authority to deal with individual situations. Unless approved by the board, the principal or supervisor, shall not ban all children from being with teacher/staff parents or teacher/staff grandparents in the work area. “

This proposal is family friendly, does not in any way reduce the work being accomplished, and gives the people you trust to deal with children and teachers on an hourly basis the responsibility and authority to continue to excite and motivate both groups to do their best.

This proposal may cause other businesses to review their policies for ‘family friendliness.’

Be prudent, but don’t be a prude about children in your care and the parents you pay to implement that care.

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