From the Desk of Superintendent Patrick McKernan
I am sure it is safe to speak for all when I say, I can’t wait for Spring and better weather to get here. It has been a challenging year with the weather. The cold weather and dangerous driving conditions have led to school closing more this year than many can remember. Add the flu that hit the elementary school before Christmas Break and we have been out ten full days of school. When we add in our early outs we have missed the equivalent to 12 days of school. That is approximately 80 hours of school. 80 hours of lost instructional time. I would like to tell you, all the bad weather is gone and this is all the school we will miss, but of course I can’t predict that.
I have learned over the years I can not control the weather but we can control the time in school. I have spoken with the board of education about making up some school time for the main reason to regain some lost instruction. They are receptive to that and we are still looking at options. Again, in my professional opinion, I think it would be a disservice to not try and regain some instructional time for your children. If that means adding days in May, then we might have to do that.
I have been asked, ‘don’t we have enough time built in our calendar’? The factual answer is yes. But the educational answer is, why settle for the minimum? We are charged to do more with your kids than just the minimum. If we choose to only educate as much as we are “required” to, then should we only play four football games instead of nine, ten basketball games instead of twenty? Getting a D in a class is the minimum grade you can receive to pass. If we adopt that same philosophy, students, parents and teachers, should be ok with a D grade. I know you expect more from us as educators and we owe it to you. Do not take my comments as condescending. I make those comments to overstate my point. I have some strong convictions and beliefs about the amount of time we have with students, your children. It is short the way it is. I am always open for any discussion related to educating your child. Feel free to reach out to me if you have any thoughts.
What I know is this snowy, cold weather will pass and Spring will be here soon. I am ready for it!
Patrick E. McKernan
Superintendent of Schools/Elementary Principal
Troy USD 429