Kindergarten show canceled so kids won't miss more class - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Kindergarten show canceled so kids won't miss more class

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NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

Welcome to the Elwood School District, Long Island, where kindergarten is very serious. Evidently, two days spent singing, dancing, and acting might cost the 5- and 6-year-olds of the Harley Primary School their chances at college and a future. So the school canceled its year-end performance.

In a letter to parents, the district said:  "We hope this letter serves to help you better understand how the demands of the 21st century are changing schools...we are responsible for preparing children for college and career with valuable lifelong skills and know that we can best do that by having them become strong readers, writers, coworkers and problem solvers."

The letter went on to say:  "Please do not fault us for making professional decisions"

As you can imagine, that logic made perfect sense to the district's parents.

"I think they're crazy and I think the town is very upset," one said.

"I have no idea what they're thinking," another parent said.

"I'm just devastated this happening," said another.

The Harley School's announcement that after six years on earth, two days of rehearsal for a class play might somehow jeopardize a kindergartener's chance of a college education did not convince that school's parents to enroll their children in S.A.T. prep courses.

"Ridiculous? Just a little bit," said a parent.

"This is a show," said another. "They're 5 years old."

One parent started a 2,400-signature petition asking the district to bring back the kindergarten performance. That document prompted the community's Board of Education to call a special meeting where its leader regurgitated a statement he sent out earlier in the day.

"I believe we made the right decision for the right reasons," Superintendent Peter C. Scordo said. Before hearing public testimony the superintendent apologized for the way in which parents learned of the program's cancellation a short letter mailed home.

"We should've been more sensitive to the impact this would have on the parents and community members and for that, I apologize to you," Scordo said.

No sign yet that the district plans to reverse its decision. Parents called wording of that initial letter "rude and condescending" but many said they appreciated the superintendent's apology.

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