“Thirteen different breaks in one month”, Coach Mike (Speak to Lead LLC) spoke out this stunning statistics in his testimony speech on February 7th in front of FCPS School Board members.
That is true. From January 11 to February 4, the first month of school right after winter break, FCPS had 13 delays, breaks, early releases, and closed days. In aggregate, FCPS students lost 20 hours of classroom time, comparing to Montgomery county, our neighbor county facing the same challenge in weather and traffic jam. Talk to your FPCS School Board member and ask for an adjustable, flexible, and reasonable study schedule (https://www.fcps.edu/school-board/school-board-members).
Full transcript of Coach Mike’s testimony speech is available below with Coach Mike’s permission:
Good evening. Happy Chinese New Year.
Today I will talk about professional development fund. We all know our county school board faced the budget challenge: in 2018 annual report, it says the county reduced $50 million expenses. Unfortunately the professional development is on the cutting board as well. So we must be judicious and be wise in spending the money in professional development within a limited resource.
Unfortunately in January and February this money is again misused, mishandled and mismanaged. Why? I will show you an example.
This table shows starting from January 11 up to February 4, the first month of school year after the winter break, we have 13 different breaks, early release, professional development, and teachers’ work day. Thirteen different breaks in one month.
Compared with our neighbor county, Montgomery county: they don’t have early release; they don’t have professional development date in January. In aggregate, our students in our county lost 20 hours of classroom time, putting our students in the academic disadvantage compared with our neighbor county. That county faces the same challenge in weather and traffic jam.
So this extensive early release, teachers’ work day and professional development put three negative impacts on our students, on our community and on our parents.
1. Our students are dealing with interruptive and disruptive learning schedule.
2. Our parents have to call off the business meeting, cancel their work and stay at home to watch the kids.
3. Our teachers (have) already recovered from the winter break and the snow break. They are so eager to join the classroom to teach our students with knowledge and skills. But you deprive this privilege from our students.
I urge the school board to think wisely: to make no teachers’ work day, early release or staff development in January / February, because they (teachers) have plenty of time (to get ready) in winter break and snow break. And secondly, put our study schedule in an adjustable, flexible and reasonable manner. Thank you.