"Bearing in mind WJC Schools could have opted to have kids attend school on holidays, cut into Spring Break, or even hold school on Saturdays, I agree wholeheartedly with the plan to make up instructional hours in the elementary schools. The kids and teachers experienced a nice long break from instruction during those snow days. While recess is an important break, there has to be some way to make up the lost time from the snow days. I think if you ask the kids, they'd tell you they prefer this solution to losing whole days of fun to school. I read many opinions against the plan the School Board adopted, but I noticed no one had another solution."
"I think any president would say the schools should open on Presidents Day and have lessons about the contributions of our presidents, rather than trying to make up lost time by reducing recess. Children, especially those with learning disabilities, need significant breaks from lessons during the day. What they do not need is another three-day weekend. Perhaps it is too late this year, but in the future the school district should give advance notice to teachers that such holidays are conditional, subject to elimination if bad weather forces school closings."
"I can't believe the number of parents complaining about recess being cut back. Seriously? In my day you went to school, took your lunch, had PT once a week, and no recess. If your child 'needs' recess, take a walk with them after or before school."
"In regard to making up time for elementary school students due to the snow days, it obviously has nothing to do with education of the students, or they would not be making up time by making the last day of school, June 12, a full day. That is ridiculous! That is not an educational day. Why do they not use one of the early release days earlier in the school year?"
"I understand that WJC needs to make up instructional time lost to snow, but losing 15 minutes recess during the day is a bad idea, particularly for boys, who need to burn off energy. And adding five minutes to the end of the day can't possibly result in a proper outcome for instruction. This needs to be re-thought."
"I thought it might be helpful to clarify that the Honor Roll for WJC Schools includes all students who have received either A's or B's in all of their classes. With this criteria, I would expect more than half the students to make the Honor Roll. This expectation serves as a attainable goal and helpful motivator for the majority of students. The district could divide out the students receiving only A's for a High Honor Roll, and the percentage on this list may be more in line with previous callers' expectations."
"To the person who questioned where all the lottery money for education goes: In FY13, lottery sales of $1.7 billion generated $486.5 million for Virginia schools. The rest went to lottery winners and lottery administration. That $486.5 million sounds like a lot, but it comprised only 14 percent of the state's Department of Education budget that year. The lottery proceeds were divvied up among the state's 134 school divisions. WJC Schools received $1,742,615. That money was only 1.4 percent of its $128.9 million budget."
"I used to love walking the soft, mulch-covered trails in my community. But one day, the homeowners' association got the bright idea to replace all that lovely mulch with unsightly, white, gritty gravel, similar to a golf course cart path. The result? The path is now crunchy and uncomfortable, in short, a good walk spoiled."
"Please, Williamsburg, give up on your Arts District. There are insurance agents, a radio station, dentists. The sign on the vacant lot is most unattractive. The flag, which I noticed on Friday, announces nothing. Use our city money more wisely."
In the news
"Congratulations to Matoaka Elementary School. Things must be going very well if the main headline-grabbing complaint of parents is 15 minutes of recess."
"Not a word to be found in Saturday's edition of coverage of the William & Mary Tribe Men's Basketball team's win over UNCW on Wednesday night. The Tribe is a very exciting team this year and should be getting the attention it deserves."
"There have numerous comments in the paper stating that deer collisions are actually down in recent years. I am sure that there are many collisions that are not reported. Over the last 14 years my wife and I have had seven vehicle contacts with deer. Only one involved enough damage to file a report."
"I read that Hunters for the Hungry received more than 15,000 pounds of venison since 1993, which is great, but could the local government also put a monetary value for each deer killed, for instance, $10 for each deer? It could help hunters get the population down, and the hunters would get some money out of it."
"New Zealand had a horrendous deer problem until some enterprising farmers decided to fence the deer in instead of out, and thus started their now multimillion-dollar deer farming industry. Today in New Zealand there are more than 2,800 deer farmers selling venison mostly to Europe, but also to America. Most of the venison you eat in restaurants here in America comes from New Zealand. Laws were passed years ago preventing farmers from raising or selling venison. Perhaps if we could change those laws we could make profits out of pests."
"Some outstanding articles recently with respect to other harmful aspects of an out-of-control deer population. For those who support darting, sterilizing etc., what happens when the deer evades capture and enters the food chain after being legally shot? Those drugs, which can be harmful to humans, remain in the deer's system for weeks, if not months."