Furlough day... why bother

With the three-hour early release due to the furlough day tomorrow, my daughter says that each of her classes will be only twenty minutes long. She says that isn't enough time to do anything so there's no point to her going to school tomorrow.

I hate it when they make a good case for this sort of thing.


David said…
Yep. Had the same thought.
Anonymous said…
Wear red tomorrow in support of teachers who would all rather be teaching than taking a furlough day! Then email your representatives and tell them to fund education. It's something worthwhile to do with your kid during the furlough. No time like the present to educate students to the politics of our time.

Teacher in SPS
Anonymous said…
Tempting to keep my child out of school this day. Unexcused absence. What are they gonna do? Arrest me?

Mr. Ed
dan dempsey said…
There are definitely ways to use 20 minutes well. This can be an opportune time for a variety of different lessons or activities.

If the kids decide not to come .... it is hardly inspirational to the classroom learning community.

I let kids know what would be happening in the 20 minute class ... so they knew I expected them to be there and that I was not blowing off the day.
Gouda said…
I agree that it's a waste, but the 20 minute class period is something that could be mitigated at the school level. Garfield chose to create block days on Monday and Tuesday, so that there are longer class periods for two (or was it three?) subjects.
Eric M said…
And whose crappy idea was it to place this furlough day in the middle of finals for high schools?
KG said…
These SEA people could have told the district no to the furlough's like other bargaining units did.

SEA leadership apparently agrees with the 18K raise pilfered by Duggan Harman and the total of 3 million given to mostly Central Administration employees when everybody else can do more with less.

It is your fault SEA and most of your members.

Rock on!!!!
Eric B said…
The district and the SEA placed the furlough day in the middle of the school year. My understanding is that they wanted to create the maximum possible disruption so that parents would complain to the Legislature about the cuts. Of course, the Legislature is just going to point out that the District could just as well have placed the furlough days at the end of the year.

Whitman Middle School has 30-minute classes with a 3-minute passing period. I'm braced for a raft of tardy notices this evening, since nobody will be able to make it to class on time.
Anonymous said…
All passing periods at McClure are 3 minutes - every day.

-McClure parent
Carol Simmons said…
Please watch carefully whether the school/Principal/teacher/attendance taker /genie counts the absence as "excused" or "unexcused"........this is one of those ridiculous policies that the last School Board passed...leaving the decision up to the Principal or someone else. The final policy was unclear with several Board members having several different interpretations. What is known though is that a certain number of "Unexcused" absences can result in loss of course credit. 20 minutes can be important for "catching up", counseling, socializing or studying. School is a social institution as well as an academic one and should be.

Patrick said…
Furloughs don't mean anything applied to salaried employees. Okay, they don't work this afternoon and they aren't paid for it. But, the rest of the time they are required to work whatever hours are required to get the job done. So anything they needed to do this afternoon gets done another day or evening instead. It's a pay cut, period.
Anonymous said…
My HS kid just got out at 11:00am. A 3 hr early dismissal should have been 11:30 am, but they scheduled lunch at 11:00 so the kids could get out 1/2 hour extra!

what a joke!
Anonymous said…
(reposting on this thread - more appropriate)

Driving home from school today, I had a thought: do you think the District is applying the furlough in such a way as to make the union (SEA) look bad?

No teacher I know wanted it to be this way. Every teacher I know thinks there were ways to handle it better.

So, is this a tactic to union-bust by disrupting famiilies and kids? I'm beginning to wonder.

KG: If SEA couldn't come up with better ideas, they need new leadership. I hate to think this was SEA's idea. It is not becoming to our union at all. ALL THE TEACHERS i know hate this.

Thank you, Patrick. It is a PAY-Cut and one made to make us look bad. Nothing more. My parents believe that this is happening because of the contract.

Bethel SD did not pass the reduction on to teachers. I wish someone would post what other districts have done. And you're right - if our community would think about it - this just means more catch-up for teachers whether it be rushing the kids even more or spending even later nights at school to get paperwork done. This isn't for teachers.

seattle citizen said…
Anonymous 12:02
You wrote that your HS student got out "at 11:00am. A 3 hr early dismissal should have been 11:30 am, but they scheduled lunch at 11:00 so the kids could get out 1/2 hour extra!"

It's a contract thing. HS teachers are contracted for 7.5 hrs per day. Many are supposed to be there by 7:20, so add 3.75 hours (half day) to 7:20 and you have 11:05. Don't blame the schools - they contractually had to get teachers out by that time.

And Anon 12:02 and all Anons: please pick a user name or just sign a name at bottom or your post will be deleted by admins - it's helpful to follow names, real or not, so use the same one you pick so we can all get to know "you," or your voice at least.
Patrick said…
Anonymous at 12:02, having lunch at school makes sense. For some free or reduced-price lunch students, that might otherwise be a missed meal. For kids going into after-school care immediately following school, they may not have a kitchen to cook a hot meal.
KG said…

Most teachers hate the furlough?

How come so many were happy to leave early and go bowling.

That is why your union has issues is that most of you do not show up to vote or work phone banks in favor of better school board members.

I have seen this and know. It is a large part the members fault.

DO nothing and please expect the same in return.
Anonymous said…
What does going bowling have to do with anything? Are we supposed to come home and grieve?

Good Lord, KG. You do realize we are not allowed to bring work home? I don't know how they'd know . . . but that was the policy.

You seem to have sour grapes for which I can't account. But when you're sent home early, I guess you can choose what you want to do with your time.

Anonymous said…
I know for one that this is the worst possible day for a furlough. Go bowling ha- my colleagues stood outside in the cold rain protesting for 3 hours, and now I am swamped with end of semester grading, preparing for exams that start tomorrow, and trying to pull together a huge student project in 2 weeks.

Oh, and KG I voted against the union taking furlough this year so I'm trying to stand up for what's right. Union leadership played the wait till the last minute vote in August crap on the furlough days. There are union folks trying to stop this kind of bad behavior by the union, but it takes all union members to make things change.

finally warming up and writing exams
KG said…

Where were all of you when there was phone banking to un-seat these
board members?

Why did you not bring a larger contingent to help vote down the furlough?

Where were all the SEA members when the counselors were taken off the WSS and 15 counselors did show up at the Board meeting but zero teachers.

Nice Solidarity.

Maybe your building members worked hard on the protest, but I bet most did not.

Sour grapes is not the the definition of truth last time I looked.

Just some advice about what was not done that maybe your Association could do a better job at.

Most in you association complain about their representation but do not help maintain it.

I am not one of your members but it is what I have seen.
Anonymous said…
Where were all of you when there was phone banking to un-seat these
board members?

Probably working which is what I spend most of my free time doing. I understand you want more. I don't have it.

"Truth" as you see it is not "truth" as I see it.

I am a new AR and I see problems with the way our union operates. Remember, we are not a union without serious limitations in that we are public employees as well. And you are right about supporting the counselors. I've noticed a tendency on the part of most teachers I know to be apolitical - they just aren't interested. I don't get that unless it is a female thing. Sorry to say that but the men I've known are far more political than my women friends.

I wonder . . . hope I don't get a lot flack for that statement.

Anonymous said…
"what a joke!" responds:

(Seattle Citizen- Thanks for your lecture, but I did use a name just like everyone else on this section...) Also, when the district says we have their normal 2 hour dismissal, it is always 2 hours shorter than the student's normal day (and not some variable like when each individual teacher happens to start their day). The same would apply to a 3 hour dismissal. Because lunch has to be included, it is questionable how Tuesday's 2-1/2 hour instructional day could be counted (at least, with a straight face) as a full day for the required 180 days.

Patrick- I was talking about high school (HS) students- there is no "after school care" for these kids to have to consider! And yes, kids who wanted lunch could stay, but at the HS level most leave when given the chance.

signed,user name:
"what a joke!"
KG said…

Sounds like you care a lot about what happens and that is great. I really respect that. Thank you for the discussion and I was just trying to tell you of examples of where the membership and your SEA could improve.

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