Flex time impedes class time

I am responding to the Sept. 21 letter written by Debra Galteland titled, “Cathcart Elementary: Flex time play works well.” She states that she is in favor of flex time at Cathcart Elementary. This is the schedule that has been in place for the past six years. Students are sent home at 1 p.m. every Friday so that teachers can have additional planning time.

Ms. Galteland states, however, that teachers are using this release time to “take care of personal appointments.” As a taxpayer, I resent having public dollars squandered this way. Sick leave and personal leave is currently provided by the SEA contract to deal with this. How can this planning time be effective if the teachers are not at school?

Flex time was supposed to enhance student learning. How can students learn if they are not in school? A look at test scores on the district web site shows that in reading, Cathcart third graders are the lowest in the district. This should be reason enough to restore Cathcart to full-time instruction.

The superintendent has stated that he will not solely use test scores in determining if flex time should be discontinued. Currently, the state relies heavily on ITBS and WASL test scores in order to identify success and failure of teaching programs. Snohomish should do the same. Doesn’t the district have an obligation to fix what obviously is not working?

The district motto is “We place the student at the center of all decisions.” If this is true, then please let Cathcart students attend school full-time. They cannot afford to lose another minute of classroom time.


Talk to us

More in Opinion

File - A teenager holds her phone as she sits for a portrait near her home in Illinois, on Friday, March 24, 2023. The U.S. Surgeon General is warning there is not enough evidence to show that social media is safe for young people — and is calling on tech companies, parents and caregivers to take "immediate action to protect kids now." (AP Photo Erin Hooley, File)
Editorial: Warning label on social media not enough for kids

The U.S. surgeon general has outlined tasks for parents, officials and social media companies.

Editorial cartoons for Sunday, May 28

A sketchy look at the news of the day.… Continue reading

Forum: Especially at time of peace, U.S. must honor its fallen

As diplomacy takes precedence over military action, Memorial Day reminds us of our duty to history.

Comment: Federal student loan repayments need reforms

With repayments resuming soon, borrowers and the government need to prepare income-based plans.

Comment: Veterans struggling with addiction need our support

Connect veterans with the services they need through encouragement, understanding and advocacy.

President Joe Biden meets with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy of Calif., to discuss the debt limit in the Oval Office of the White House, Monday, May 22, 2023, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Comment: A brief history of risks and outcomes of debt crises

Past debt ceiling and budget crises in 1995, 2011 and 2013 offer perspective on the current situation.

Comment: Hospice care isn’t giving up; it’s a gift of time, love

End-of-life care offers patients and families comfort, better quality of life and time to say goodbye.

Comment: State, local libraries rebuilding lives after prison

For those leaving prison, a library card is key to starting again. A new program offers that key.

Most Read