According to this article, in August 2018 Pueblo City Schools in southern Colorado has begun operating on a four-day school week, among the 600 districts across 22 states. The author states that switching to a shorter school week, the district will save on transportation costs, teaching salaries, district-wide utilities, and possibly saving 1.4 million dollars each year. The change in school week would add about five minutes to elementary class’ time per day and 30-45 minutes extra on middle and high-school class’ times. Moving to the shortened scheduled is part of an effort to retain highly qualified but overworked teacher. Teachers such as Gus Ruybal, a veteran teacher who taught at Overland Middle School for 16 years in Colorado School District, welcome the change. Mr. Ruybal stated, “Teachers spend a lot of their weekends grading papers, doing lesson plans and doing schoolwork.” The condensed school scheduled required curriculum modifications but will improve students and teacher’s quality of life. In contrast, some teachers will face the possibility of compensating lower teacher salaries and some parent’s opponent to the change is in fear of the need for extra child care.
As reported by Tawnell D. Hobbs, The Boys & Girls Club of Pueblo County has started using space at Risley International Academy on Fridays, offering parents with an alternative to have their children a place to go. For Sylvia Castillo, who is a hospital cook and is the grandmother of a seven-year-old boy named Damien Rael, was satisfied with the program offered by The Boys & Girls Club stating, “I don’t know what I would do without this program.” Teachers and parents are expecting a more unpredicted benefit in the following school years and hoping the amount of money will help save on transportation and utilities costs. Overall, most importantly, teachers and parents are hoping the school week change will help pay for new resources, such as an intervention program on the day off for schools that need academic help.
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Pueblo County is a youth community agency that are intentionally located in areas high in poverty and crime, for young people with limited opportunities. The purpose of the club is to change youth lives through quality programs and guidance in safe, affordable, and fun afterschool activities. The Club’s primary objective is providing what kids need and want most. Targeting to offer a safe environment for young people to have fun and a place for them to be themselves. The cost to attend the program is an annual registration fee of only $22, providing services of education, career development, character leadership, wellness, arts, sports, and recreation. Overall, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Pueblo County supports to deliver an atmosphere aimed for local youth productively occupied, away from troubles, and learning in an encouraging environment.
The Boys & Girls Club of Pueblo County agency is categorized in the primary function of preventive services. The agency provides the function of preventive services that “seek to lessen the stresses and strains of life resulting from social and technological changes and to avert problems.” (Berns, pg. 390) The Boys & Girls Clubs of Pueblo County is sets up recreation programs located in high poverty areas, helping youth to develop wellness, reduce stress and promotes a positive use of recreation time, and enable youth to develop skills to help them be employed. The club includes educational programs for all ages such as STEM with creative computing and Project Learn that reinforces the academic enrichment and school engagement of young people during the time they spend at the Club. These programs are designed to ensure that all youth entered in the program graduate from high school on time and ready for a post-secondary education.
The specific ecological systems theory depicted in this article are microsystems and mesosystems. The microsystem is the system closest to the child and the one in which they have direct contact. How these groups interact with the child will have an effect on how the child grows. The more encouraging and nurturing these relationships and places are, the better the child will be able to grow. Also, how a child acts or reacts to these people in the microsystem will affect how they treat others in return. The school is the primary setting in the article and is the place where the child’s microsystem will be affected. The policy changes of shortening to a four-day school week will be vital between the interactions of teachers and its students because when children have direct interactions socially and physically with teachers and peers it helps the students develop. With the reduce time from five days to four days will cause an impact of quality and quantity connections between the teachers, students, and their peers.
According to Bronfenbrenner's next level of ecological systems theory, the mesosystem, describes how the different parts of a child's microsystem work together for the interests of the child. The mesosystem is where a student’s microsystems are interconnected and assert stimulus upon one another. These interactions have an indirect impact on the individual. One aspect of the interconnected relationships depicted in the article would be the relationship between the parents and the teacher. If parents take an active part in the school, such as attending conferences regarding school rule changes and actively interacts with the teachers to provide a better quality in school for the interests of the child. This has an affirmative influence on children’s development because the different elements of the microsystem are working together. However, the development could be affected in an undesirable way if the different elements of the microsystem were working against one another. Such as, the parents’ disagreement with the teachers position of having more days off at Pueblo School Districts.
In addition, through the Boys & Girls Club agency it provided services of educational, after school improvement opportunities for the missed Fridays, the agency programs directly link children with the critical mesosystems of schools, employment, and health care agencies. In general, the ecological systems of microsystems and mesosystems are significantly depicted in the article “In These Districts, Friday Is Not a School Day” and shows the importance of how these interactions influences with the child directly.
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