School Back in Session

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0824090706It’s August 24th and Orange County Public Schools are back in session.  To exacerbate the chaos, Fall Term 2009 begins at the University of Central Florida.  All of this basically adds up to another 15-20 minutes of commute-time. 

Since it was the first day of school, I decided to drop L off at school.  University High School (UHS) has decided to try a pilot program where the students do not have a regular before-school orientation…instead, they spend 20 minutes in each of their registered classes and spend the rest of the time getting themselves situated, rescheduled and oriented.  The school is calling this a mechanism to teach the kids responsibility.  I see it as another 11th hour ploy to save School Board dollars.

One of the things that really irks me is the change of school start times.  It was decided last year that switching the school start times around for K-12 would save Umpteen Million Dollars.  The plan was implemented…and it was rumored that some money was eventually saved.  So…why then are we now switching the school start times back to their original values?  I just saw on the news where school buses are driving about with bald tires and jump-started batteries!  Is there no longer a need to save money?  I have heard conflicting stories on the controlled news media about parents being in an uproar about last year’s school start times…are these few noisy, selfish parents considered the majority?  I was not told about any town hall meetings or forums where I could cast my opinions on the matter!  Either way, this is just another indicator that the Orange County School Board is unable to accomplish any mode of long-term planning and budgeting.  And they are unable to stick with their decisions on all but the most simple plans.

Tonight is going to be another dose of chaos…as 20,000 students hit the streets with their parents to purchase school supplies.  Yes, since the orientation is now on the first day of school, it is impossible to purchase school supplies in advance…so the entire system is going to be overwhelmed by students from kindergarten to 24th grade seeking supplies.  Yet another impact that the illustrious school board did not think about.  It is going to be a fun fall!

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