A Possible Day Off For Teachers Shows Their True Importance To Students, Parents

Jamestown Public Schools board members did the right thing last week by taking no action on teachers’ request to make Friday a day off across the district.

We certainly don’t disagree with Stephanie Sardi, Jamestown Teachers’ Association president, or Nina Karbaka, school board member, that teachers deserve a thank you for their hard work. The work being done in classrooms throughout the district is made more difficult by the dizzying degree of community poverty teachers deal with every day. The past couple of years haven’t been easy for anyone — including teachers — dealing with the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.

In our view, though, Paul Abbott, board president, was absolutely correct that the Board of Education is the wrong venue for such a request and that such a request being granted with only a week’s notice would create a big problem for parents — especially working parents who would then lose access to after-school care that many count on throughout the week.

An extra day off would make for a nice four-day weekend. But given all of the instructional time missed during the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s imperative that children get every ounce of instructional time they can, as was noted by board vice president Patrick Slagle. That’s especially true in a district like Jamestown whose students have tended to struggle to make the grade on state assessments. More importantly is another fact noted often during the pandemic — for many children, school is the best place for them to be during the day.

We hope teachers don’t look at the board’s decision as being anti-teacher. It certainly is not. It’s a statement that teachers play such a valuable role in many students’ lives that missing one of those days hurts children who count on school to be a safe harbor when life’s seas are stormy.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper? *


Starting at $4.62/week.

Subscribe Today