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How to use the non-student days

September 07, 2011

It was a great year for La Cañada schools. What is next?

We can certainly be proud of our schools and last year’s academic results. The teachers did a great job, and they can give themselves a well deserved pat on the back. With elections coming up, there may be some changes on the school board, and hopefully we may get an even better board. They will face some significant challenges that must be overcome if we are to have another great academic year.

I understand that the four additional student-free days for the teachers this new school year is part of the contract with the teachers union. However, how maximum benefit can be derived from the four extra student-free days is, I believe, still open for discussion. I trust the silly notion that the student-free days can be compensated for by adding a few minutes to each school day has been dropped. No serious educator or instructor would even consider such an idea. At the end of a school day both teachers and students are tired, and to add a few minutes of instruction would not only not be beneficial, but might detract from the prior instruction time.

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The question therefore is how we can get the most benefit from student-free days. The answer must lie in how these days are utilized. For the teachers using the time to contemplate if their instructional methods are adequate, using four random days is not the answer. The teachers can contemplate on their own time, just like employees in the private sector. I suggest that for the teachers to reach a higher plateau in their profession, they should have one four-day, or two two-day, intense seminars covering the latest developments in the field of instruction. These seminars should be conducted by the best professional, educational talent in the field.

Erik B. Fiske

La Cañada Flintridge

What’s the name of that mountain?

I am the writer of the Arcadia Publisher's La Cañada and Flintridge books, and am an old time La Cañadan myself. I am looking for more information again, and I was wondering if some of the community could help me.

I am thinking that the mountain peaks that overlook our town should have names. I know that we have Mt. Lowe, Mount Lukens, Mount Wilson and Strawberry Peak. There are lots of peaks and mountaintops in our San Gabriels around us that have been famous for years.

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