Two hour delay every Wednesday

Published 8:04 am Thursday, July 1, 2004

By By MARCIA STEFFENS / Cassopolis Vigilant
CASSOPOLIS -- The schedule change approved by the Board of Education of the Cassopolis Public Schools Monday came as a surprise to some audience members.
Of concern is the change which will have a two hour delay start on Wednesday which will eliminate the usual five teacher in-service days throughout the year.
It was already too late according to some parents who spoke. Their concern is for the working parents who do not have the luxury of waiting those two hours for the bus to pick up their child.
Jackie Smith, who works in Indiana, admitted she understood the benefit, but was concerned as "parents have so many issues already." Would there still be breakfast? she asked, and what if the delay turns into a snow day, and the children are alone all day? "Employers are not sympathetic," she added.
Superintendent William Trujillo said he had met with the clergy and transportation to address these issues. Possibly non-instructional staff could have activities during those two hours. A second bus run might also be needed.
Tom Hartsell said, "we have to sell it before we adopt it -- it's a major change … affecting lots of households." He felt the parents should have been informed before the vote.
Mona Heltzel agreed, saying, "the town should have some input."
Also addressing the board was David Smith, of Happy Drive and pastor of the First Church of God. He was disappointed at the "lack of respect" at the Ross Beatty graduation and hoped in two years, when another child will graduate, there will be "a different atmosphere." He felt they had "been to a circus," citing both student and parents at fault.
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