Archive for Thursday, April 15, 2004

Letters to the editor

April 15, 2004

To the editor:

I will try to make this short. Someone gave me a pencil and said write, so here goes.

Waiving the $4,000 would be, let's see, stupid. If it was done for one, it would have to be done for everyone, no matter who they are. Finish the thought.

Next issue. I believe there was a sign sale somewhere and someone from Baldwin was first in line and bought them all. Now, we see them everywhere. The one at Eighth and Dearborn makes it more dangerous. It really wasn't dangerous to begin with. People fail to stop because it is new to them and if the students would cross in the crosswalk, instead of anywhere they please, there is no problem there.

The sidewalks on Sixth Street keep you wondering if the kids are coming or going. The students need to learn to walk in the crosswalks and not jay walk. It would help the car traffic.

Next, the cat situation. Baldwin needs to think about a cat leash law as Lawrence has. We all get tired of our gardens being used as a litter box and also the mulch. If a person has a pet, as some say is part of the family, keep them at home as a family pet. I don't believe in harming one, but I sure have come close to thinking that.

I think the people who bring their dogs to the schoolyard do not think of the school kids who play in that yard.

Phyllis Hobson

Baldwin City

(Editor's note: This letter was presented to the Baldwin Board of Education at Monday's meeting. It was requested that it also be run as a letter to the editor.)

Dear Board Member:

I am appealing to the Board on behalf of my daughter, Sommer Brecheisen. Sommer will be a freshman at Baldwin High School in the fall of 2004. Sommer's career goals all center on the arts; instrumental and vocal music, dance, music theatre, theatre, drawing and painting. We have put together what we see as an excellent plan for her four years at Baldwin High. However we have run into a brick wall with the Physical Education requirement.

In the BHS enrollment book the requirements for graduation list, "one year physical education" with no other descriptor of said requirement. However, the enrollment forms for freshmen states, "Freshman PE required." I have been in discussion with Mr. (Allen) Poplin and Mr. (James) White. We are requesting that the board end the requirement of PE of freshmen and allow students to take the introductory PE course anytime during a student's four years of study.

If you peruse Sommer's four-year plan you can see she plans to not only meet graduation requirements, but also to meet regents recommended requirements and meet her personal fine art goals. She plans to take four years of math, not the required two; four years of science, not the required two; and four years of French, not the suggested two. She plans to enroll in four full years of education not just the required 24 credits (which equals three years plus three courses in the senior year.) Unfortunately, this may all change if she is required to enroll in PE her freshmen year instead of delaying it until her senior year.

To take Freshman PE, Sommer will not enroll in Algebra I. Mr. Poplin suggested Art, Band, or French be dropped. Sommer wants, and for her career goals needs, four years of each of these subjects. Two years of math will suffice her career goals. In fact, if forced into Freshman PE, she will probably not take a math course her sophomore year either. She will take both band and choir that year so she can make an experienced choice between the two. Even with her fine arts schedule she is sacrificing wants.

If Sommer postpones math until her junior year, she will be taking the State Assessment her sophomore year without current math instruction. This will be more detrimental to the district than to Sommer. At this point in time, schools are accountable for test scores, students are not.

Sommer and I believe that it is in her best interest and the USD 348's best interest to change our district's PE requirement to: One year Introductory PE (grades 9-12).


Sally Hoffsommer-Brecheisen

Baldwin City

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