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Four-day school week won't catch on

October 16, 2011
By BUBBA KAPRAL - Managing Editor , Times Leader

FOUR-DAY work weeks have been in vogue for years. How about four-day school weeks?

That latter is a concept growing in popularity nationwide, albeit slowly.

A school district in central Ohio is seriously considering going that route. London City Schools are in a financial mess, much like several in our locale. Should a 5-year, 8.5-mill tax levy fail on Nov. 8 ballot, the district will be in dire straits.

One option is the four-day week, which officials estimate will save the district $245,000 a year. A bill currently in the Ohio House would make such a move seamless as it calls for changing the school calendar from days to hours.

Thus, school districts would be empowered to schedule classes more economically judicially.

London City is banking that a 4-day week would result in savings in busing, personnel and utilities. That may be the case, but I would expect such a radical switch would also yield a flood of opposition from parents and coaches.

Many households would be sent into disarray, looking to find supervision for their children on that fifth day. Coaches, meanwhile, like structure in their athletes' lives. To give them extra freedom may not prove competition productive.

Some 21 states have school districts operating on a four-day week.

I have a hard time believing such a plan catches fire in Ohio, let alone in the Ohio Valley, even with the financial difficulties local districts are encountering.

People are creatures of habit. A 5-day school week is a habit I see continuing for the long haul in the valley.

UPWARD SPORTS

I STRONGLY support the concept of the new youth sports league that will soon be hitting the hardwood in Martins Ferry. The Upward Sports basketball league is everything sports should be: friendly and competitive games, allowing children of all athletic abilities to participate on a level playing field. Moreover, they learn life lessons as a bonus.

The Martins Ferry Christian Church and Brian Hastings should be commended for their undertaking of such a positive project.

Evaluation dates have been set for the new league at Ayers Elementary School at the Martins Ferry schools complex. They are:

BUBBA'S BITS

JOHN MAGISTRO may be headed to the state football playoffs again. Magistro, who guided Bellaire to numerous post-season trips during his sparkling tenure, has Westerville Central closing in on a post-season berth. Central defeated Olentangy, 20-7, Friday night to improve to 7-1 on the campaign. Magistro's charges are currently ranked second in Division I Region 3 behind Troy and the Warhawks control their playoff fate. Central faces 4-4 Olentangy Liberty this Friday.

POLITICAL PARTISANSHIP will kill the likelihood of a jobs bill being passed any time in the near future. President Obama's $447 million plan was rejected Tuesday. It may not have been the best piece of legislation for jump starting the economy, but it would have been something. Now, financially ailing Americans must sit and wait, watching politics play out at their partisan worst.

SPEAKING of politics, Herman Cain is currently the pacesetter for the Republican presidential nomination. Don't look for that to last very long. Mitt Romney is the GOP man to beat.

ON THE local political front, Charlie Wilson is advancing plans for a bid to return to the US Congress. I see that as no surprise. Wilson was swept out of office a year ago by newcomer Republican Bill Johnson. Wilson, like many of his Democratic counterparts, fell victim to a GOP house-cleaning tidal wave, national in scope. Wilson lost by a fairly close margin, and his political juices are still flowing. With the economy no better than it was when Wilson was ousted, it may work to his benefit the next time around.

THE SWITZERLAND of Ohio's $80 million building renovation project takes another step forward this week, as a ceremonial groundbreaking ceremony is set for Powhatan Elementary on Thursday at 10 a.m. State Rep. Lou Gentile will be the featured speaker. This marks the fourth groundbreaking for the school district in regards to the massive renovation. The Powhatan school event will be held at 54685 Mount Victory Road.

WHAT'S IN a name? College conference realignment is all out of kilter. The Big East is trying to land Boise State. That would be a geographic misnomer, as is the Big Ten (which has 12 teams) and the Big 12 (which has 10 teams).

CONSOL IS synonymous with coal. But times are a changing. Consol Energy recently reported it experienced record gas production this summer. The company pumped more than 40 billion cubic feet from Marcellus Shale from July 1 to Aug. 31. Their is no ceiling on how much the he gas-drilling industry can pump life into the Ohio Valley way of life.

MONEY TRIVIA: The largest denomination of currency was $100,000 Series 1934 Gold Certificate note. It was primarily used between banks and not the public. The mint also used in the past $500, $1,000, $5,000 and $10,000 note. The mint never created a $1 million note.

Kapral may be reached at bkapral@timesleaderonline.com

 
 

 

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