BULLHEAD CITY — Some parents complained to the Colorado River Union High School District Board on Monday about their children coming home and having to complete yet another homework assignment — albeit over the weekend.
Asking students to do an assignment explaining why, for example, physical education is relevant to them was described by parent Rusty Dubois as appearing to be “busy work.”
“Is this important?” he asked.
The idea is to ensure that learning continues when students aren’t in school. CRUHSD Supt. Todd Flora gave a presentation to staff last week about wanting to increase the amount of time CRUHSD students spend learning.
Flora explained that students spend less than 13.7% of their time in school. And not all of that time is spent learning because that percentage includes activities such as lunch and walking from classroom to classroom.
“(Students) need to begin making connections to what they are learning in the classroom to the real world each week during the three days they are not in school to augment the four that they are,” Flora wrote as part of his welcome message to students, staff and parents that can be seen on the Colorado River Schools website: www.crsk12.org.
Flora has asked every teacher to have students explain how what they are learning in class applies to them in life. They will have the weekend to complete the assignment.
Flora’s online statement focuses on the assignment to be completed in written form, though he said during the meeting it could be delivered verbally or even in a more creative way.
Devoting two hours a week to this assignment would provide them with much more learning time: 20.7%, Flora noted.
He also asked that parents, other family members and co-workers ask CRUHSD students they come in contact with to explain what they are learning and “how they are applying these concepts outside of school.”
“My hope is that this larger conversation resonates throughout the entire community. I’m looking for an educational buzz!!!” Flora also wrote. “It is my hope that in 2020 we make the entire community an educational classroom that is always open 24/7.”
Board member Richard Cardone said he believed that Flora should have consulted the board first and allowed them to vote on it.
“We didn’t have any time to talk about this,” Cardone said.
Cardone based his assertion on the statement prefacing Arizona Revised Statutes related to curriculum adoption that “all new programs and courses of study will be subject to board approval.”
However, others on the board disagreed with that viewpoint.
“That policy speaks to changing curriculum” said board member Lori Crampton. “I don’t see that it needs board approval.”
The rigor and relevence concept is considered a framework but is being implemented as an assignment for students.
In other business, the CRUHSD Board:
- Named Kerry Burgess as this year’s CRUHSD board president, succeeding board member Lori Crampton, who served as president last year.
- Approved hiring a part-time summer intern coordinator for the career and education internship program. It’s an eight-week assignment for four hours each week.
- Took no action on intergovernmental agreements between CRUHSD and Bullhead City Elementary School District for this school year. The proposals from the BCESD likely wouldn’t go into effect until the school year was almost over. Work on such agreements for next school year will begin soon by Flora and BCESD Supt. Carolyn Stewart.
- Approved community use agreement and rules on posting of advertisements during third-party events at Anderson Auto Group Fieldhouse. Specifically, that ads that aren’t allowed when students are at the Fieldhouse must be in place only immediately before and removed immediately after non-educational events.