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We homeschool our kids, yet somehow we managed to get them involved with 4H, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Little League, etc. I don't think the schools need to be bothering with managing the data flow on the stuff outside groups want to send home with the kids. The principals have it right - just say no.

I support the continuation of the present school board policy of sending flyershome with students. I honestly don't see it as that much of a hardship to add a flyer to an envelope or to toss one out that is of no interest. The proposed disclaimer- with a modification of your addition to "Not printed at any ACPS expense" or similar might head off some phone calls to the school or division office.
I think most of the citizens of this county have the ability to recognize that these flyers are simply announcements, not a plan to subvert any reader over to a different way of thinking.
Thank you for keeping the community up to date on discussions and your views.

I like the idea of the email list, however, I would also to suggest that the groups sending out the flyers be responsible for collating them for the various classes and putting them in the teacher's boxes in addition to printing the appropriate number of copies.

Comment posted on Dec. 8, 2006: "I honestly don't see it as that much of a hardship to add a flyer to an envelope..."
What elementary grade do you teach, and do you have a teaching assistant? It isn't about "hardship". It's about the importance of instructional time and the goals of our schools. As ever-increasing responsibilities take our attention away from the classroom, teachers have to protect the valuable time we have to devote to our students and parents. This need should be respected. Don't forget, we like to send home some important papers, too: school and classroom newsletters, students work, announcements, reminders and updates,student reports, letters to individual parents, assignments, and other papers from art, music, library, PE, guidance, and PTO. Sit and stuff 24 student envelopes with 10 papers for 30-45 minutes (longer if I have have to match the names on the papers to the names on the envelopes), or use the time to teach, call/write/conference with a parent, take kids outside for recess, handle an important disciplinary matter, or plan a good lesson? In our schools, every decision should begin with these words: "We strongly believe that it is best for our students...". As a matter of fact, I'd love to see Brian's newsletter titled "KidsMatter"!

Sara - Thanks for the feedback. When this matter was before the school board, I brought up the fact that we had lots of other sources of backpack items that had to be taxing our school resources. I have been keeping track of my 5th grader's backpack ever since. Here are the grand totals from September to December:
Homework=92 items; Teacher items=29; PTO items=22; Principal items=12; Division-level items=8; outside non-profits=3 items. This data certainly speaks to your observation about the sources of flyers from within our school. Brian Wheeler

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