Date: 12/26/01 6:41:27 PM Pacific Standard Time
I would just like to express my complete disapproval with the decision to reduce high school periods per day, from seven to six. While you certainly are being consistent as you strive for the mediocrity of our children, I must say that you can't possibly have considered how negative of an effect this will have on the majority of students in all Duluth's senior highs!
How is one to choose between classes that are so essential to those who aspire to attend college or university? While my daughter, a freshman this year, intends on pursuing a medical degree of some sort, she enjoys ( and excels ) at playing flute. For her, music is not an elective - it is required to balance her skills, abilities and personal goals. I'm sure you've heard about the studies linking those involved in music with higher math and science skills? Also, the better schools, to which she hopes to get a scholarship, require a variety of coursework, from math and language, to fine arts. This change will make it nearly impossible to meet the (ludicrous) graduation standards, let alone the standards of many colleges.
Then again, maybe your answer is to continue to drive the best students away from ISD 709, to Edison or Marshall or elsewhere? I certainly wouldn't mind sending my two children (both 4.0 students, involved in sports and band) to Marshall, being an alumnus of Cathedral. However, my kids and wife are both adamant Woodland and East boosters... or at least they were until lately. You are certainly having an affect with your decisions: my daughter has started asking me what the alternatives are! A year ago, I couldn't get her to listen to reason when I brought them up.
Get creative. Use all means to avoid hurting the education of the children (including using the reserve "rainy day" fund - it is pouring out, if you hadn't noticed!). You've already received a plethora of ideas from the community (which included leaving the seven period day ALONE). Quit trying to nickel and dime this, looking for a solution: get going and make the tough decisions... close schools (yes, even a high school), eliminate the waste, bump up taxes, etc.