2018-03-14 / Letters

Year-round school plan comes up short

In a recent article, “For disadvantaged kids, is year-round school the answer?” [Feb. 21], the findings by sociology professor Karl Alexander and his team show that the problem does not lie within the individual, but rather the structure of society. The pattern recognized by Alexander shows that children who are at an economic disadvantage do not have the same summer enrichment opportunities as those who come from wealthier backgrounds.

The findings presented in the story show that this is a public issue that should be addressed in order to fix the root of the problem. Chesterfield’s solution to offer free intersession educational courses at Bellwood Elementary appears to be a solid idea to reduce the amount of economically disadvantaged students who fall behind intellectually each year. Yet, Chief of Schools John Gordon said the school system only intends to allow 150 students to attend each session while a significant number of disadvantaged students remain unhelped. This would be similar to busing a small amount of students out of an impoverished school to gain a better education while leaving countless other students behind. Thus, Gordon’s idea would not be extremely effective in solving the root of the problem. In order to benefit every student from any economic background, more opportunities should be offered to the poor over the summer at other Chesterfield schools. This would allow more spaces to open for potential students while providing an easily accessible source for summer education and thereby bettering the community.

Rachel Colello

Editor’s note: In the story, Superintendent James Lane says that if the school system receives funding from the state’s Extended School Year Grant program, the intersession courses could be made available to all of Bellwood’s students.

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