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Ask the Expert

Signal Photos

 

What a sad day

Posted: March 27, 2010 8:26 p.m.
Updated: March 28, 2010 4:55 a.m.
 
Dear Paul Strickland, Gloria Mercado-Fortine, Bob Jensen Jr., Steve Sturgeon, Joe Messina and Mr. Costanzo:
As a parent of an eighth-grader at Rio Norte Junior High, I was both shocked and disappointed that the Hart district school board would make such a controversial decision as to eliminate the promotion ceremony for eighth-graders.  

Equally shocking was that the cost, per your accounting, would be a mere $11.23 per student, based on a $40,000 cost for 3,562 eighth-graders. The argument Mercado-Fortine stated in The Signal (“Eighth-grade ceremonies cut,” March 23) regarding the fact these ceremonies have gotten too elaborate and costly should have led the board to find ways to reduce cost, not eliminate this rite of passage altogether.  

Considering parents have to pay a minimum of $45 just for a yearbook, don’t you think that we would consider paying the $11.23 to allow our kids to receive the recognition that they deserve for the hard work they have done in seventh and eighth grade?

What more is needed for promotion, other than a stage, the students and a microphone? In these times and this economy, as Mercado-Fortine stated, parents don’t want to cut back on the ceremony that is the culmination of junior high. My eighth-grader is my oldest, so we have not actually attended a junior high promotion ceremony; however, I know many awards have been handed out in the past, including presidential awards for academic achievement.  

This is the time for parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and friends to celebrate their loved ones accomplishments. Why would you as a board want to diminish this incredible time in these kids lives? The reassurance that they would still have an eighth-grade dance is insulting. Every eighth-grader  I’ve spoken with would much rather have a promotion ceremony than a dance.

It seems there are so many solutions to this situation that were not considered by the board. Parents have even mentioned being willing to set up the chairs if the district could not afford to pay maintenance for this.  

Are the expenses from years past available for the public to view? Was there really no way to reduce costs? How can a recorded message sent out to the parents during the fourth quarter of the school year be an acceptable way to address this issue?  
Please, reconsider your hasty decision and work with the parents to find a win-win solution that honors our kids. After all, isn’t it those same kids who score so well on the STAR tests for the Hart district?  

What a sad day that elected board members would make a decision such as this.

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