County/district education reform

Dear Editor,

My thoughts and actions dealing with the arts are well known. Research shows that by stimulating the right side of the brain through art the connection between the two hemispheres is strengthened. This will help both sides to work in tandem.

“The arts are not just expressive and affective, they are deeply cognitive. They develop essential thinking tools — pattern recognition and development; mental representations of what is observed or imagined; symbolic, allegorical and metaphorical representations; careful observation of the world; and abstraction from complexity, “ wrote David A. Souse in a feature in AASA The School Superintendents Association. He also concluded his article as follows. “The arts play an important role in human development, enhancing the growth of cognitive, emotional, and psychomotor pathways. Schools have an obligation to expose children to the arts at the earliest possible time and to consider the arts as fundamental (not optional) curriculum areas. Finally, learning the arts provides a higher quality of human experience throughout a person’s lifetime.”

There should be more rather than less in our district.

What about learning how to use the library in Fifth grade? I taught fifth grade for many years. That year for kids is a time they have gotten their basics and are beginning to learn about independent thought. It is a year in which they should be taught about asking questions and learning how to find answers. Cutting library out is not the way to help them learn where and how to find facts. The library has much changed and places where information is held will continue to change. Cutting library in Fifth grade is most wrong. The one year in which the students are the most able to self-start and dig out answers is not the year to not have training to dig out answers. Time to rethink school reform. Time to be willing to spend money to have the resources to help our students to grow.

Third grade is the year that young fingers are more than ready to begin playing a musical instrument and their minds are more than ready to begin to read music and translate that into their played music.

Fourth grade students are more than ready to go beyond stick figures and lollipop trees. Their minds are ready to look outside and draw and create something new.

Fifth grade students are ready to explore for new knowledge in our libraries.

I hope the School District would rethink their reforms. I do think that teachers in elementary grade are capable of using computers as tools for students to explore social studies and science within the classroom setting. It is my thought that by using the computer within the class is an excellent way to also teach how to find real facts and learn reading skills as they are needed to have the students explore the world around them.

It is my hope that the reforms voted on at the last school board meeting get rethought and changed.

Mark Davis,