The Boise School District has squandered the good will of last year’s successful bond election. Claiming a “focus on student achievement” (no evidence), the district asked families one single question: whether we would support ending the first semester prior to the holidays, and ending the school year before Memorial Day weekend. The district glossed over what the plan entailed, and the fact that the change was going to be accomplished by starting school another week early was buried and could easily have been missed. The school district hasn’t mentioned any additional studies of alternatives designed to reach the same goal, such as slightly longer school days, taking back Thanksgiving week, getting rid of half days, etc., suggesting that none were done. Leaders have sought no meaningful discussion with their constituents regarding this impactful decision. Even the so-called focus groups were, by all accounts, kitschy sales pitches rather than efforts to really hear families’ concerns. Our intermountain climate offers only a short summer to explore our wonderful state (including local pools, businesses, etc.), and extracurricular activities already commence two or more weeks before instruction actually begins. The school district, which enjoys the support of so many Boiseans, must do better.
Jennifer Stevens, Boise