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Year-Round Schools in L.A.

December 18, 1986

I would like to comment on your editorial "Year Round Good Idea," (Dec. 1).

I have been a first grade teacher in an elementary school in the Pacoima-San Fernando area for the past 30 years, 5 1/2 years of which have been on a four-track 45-15 year-round schedule. Each year since 1982 I have written a report assessing (in my opinion only) the merits and disadvantages of the year-round program. The negatives exceed the positives. You imply that the program is a fine solution to the problem of overcrowding. It will provide a seat for every child! I question how much you really know about the conditions in our schools and whether you really care about children, teachers, and other personnel who daily grapple with the myriad of problems such as packing, unpacking, storing, cleaning and moving; for many every three weeks, for others every nine weeks! Much time and energy is expended in routines far removed from the business of educating our children. In addition to the regular disruptions, trying to teach and to learn in unair-conditioned classrooms during the hot summer months of May, June, July, August and September is a formidable challenge to maintain one's health, humor and morale!

To date we have not succeeded in relieving overcrowding. We are still crowded!

Breakfasts begin at 7:15 a.m. Some children and teachers eat lunch at 10:30 a.m. There are two recesses and two lunch periods and a 20-minute period for eating lunch. The playground is crowded and noise abounds.

Are these the conditions you propose for all of our schools? Instead of relief and improvement do you suggest acceptance of poor and inferior conditions for everyone in the district?

SYLVIA L. HABER

Sherman Oaks

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