February 09, 2001, Friday
School officials discuss propriety of rewarding students with movies
BYLINE: Eric Eyre
SECTION: News; Pg. P1A
LENGTH: 853 words
But Duerring stopped short of recommending a ban on field trips to such places as movie theaters, putt-putt golf courses and shopping malls.
Movie theaters hold
special morning showings on school days for
"We're not going to sit here and say going to the movies every time is the best field trip," Duerring said at a state school board meeting Thursday. "To make a blanket ruling [against them] is a bit excessive. But there need to be checks and balances."
Duerring had come to
the state Board of Education meeting Thursday to discuss the Kanawha board's
decision to close
Instead, state school board members peppered the superintendent with questions about field trips to movie theaters.
At least one out of
every three days, some
principals use the movie trips as rewards for good behavior and attendance. He
"Obviously, our trips need to be educational," Duerring said. "But there are times that rewards are given."
"I appreciate the reward system, but could some of these be done on Saturdays?" asked state board member Cleo Mathews.
Mathews and other board members also suggested that schools take students on field trips to the movies on Faculty Senate days when students ordinarily have the day off. Teachers usually discuss concerns and receive training on Faculty Senate days.
Logan and Boone county schoolchildren also take field trips to movies, superintendents from those counties said Thursday.
"This board has pushed the responsible student program, which mandates rewards for kids," Woolsey said. "If we're going to insist we reward kids ... giving them pizza at school is not necessarily a reward kids will work toward.
"We're really trying to reward kids for better behavior."
Boone schools Superintendent Steve Pauley said Boone school board members discussed field trips at a recent school board meeting.
They may require that principals, each time they request a bus for a field trip, explain how the trips will improve student performance. Board members want the trips to have some tie to what students are learning in the classroom.
"We're going to look at every trip," Pauley said.
"You had to write down a justification for every trip," said Duerring, a former elementary school principal. "For some reason, we got away from that."
Kanawha school board members have fielded dozens of complaints about field trips this week.
Parents say trips to the movies, bowling and putt-putt golf cheat children out of valuable classroom time.
School buses usually
"Why are these
students not in the classroom being instructed in reading, writing and
arithmetic?" Michael Fidler, a
"It's a local
school decision. That's what it comes down to," said East Bank Middle
School Principal Mark Milam, who also serves as president of
The movie trips increase around the holidays and near the end of the school year. Schools sent students to the movies all but two school days in December.
Schools sent students to putt-putt golf centers 45 times during the past nine months.
To contact staff writer Eric Eyre, use e-mail or call 348-5194.
LOAD-DATE: February 09, 2001
Copyright 2001 Charleston Newspapers