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Letters to the editor

January 30, 1997

Letters to the editor

School boards backs 'service learning'

Five years ago, in July 1992, the Maryland State Department of Education passed a number of new graduation requirements for students who entered grade nine in the fall of 1993 and thereafter. All students must now follow either a career or college program, conduct scientific lab work, take courses that include algebraic and geometric concepts and engage in service to the community.

We the undersigned elected members of the Washington County Board of Education wish to confirm our support for the Maryland State Department of Education regulation requiring Student Service Learning hours as a requirement for a Maryland High School diploma - as stated in the Code of Maryland regulation (13A.03.02.03) as:

D. Student Service. Students hall complete one of the following: (1) 75 hours of student service that includes preparation, action, and reflection components and that, at the discretion of the local school system, may begin during the middle grades; or (2) A locally designed program in student service that has been approved by the State Superintendent of Schools.

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It is our duty and intent to fully support the regulations and requirements of the Maryland State Department of Education as determined by the appointed members of the Maryland Board of Education and the state superintendent of Maryland schools.

We wish to be on record in support of the Student Service Learning graduation requirement and herein notify parents and students of the graduating class of 1997 that no graduation diplomas shall be granted to those students who have failed to complete the Service Learning requirement.

B. Marie Byers, President

Washington County Board of Education

Why the difference?

I have a complaint about the difference between the Morning Herald and the Daily Mail.

My problem is this: My son is involved in sports, and activities in his school. Why does the Daily Mail print these functions and the Morning Herald doesn't?

I called in to ask that question yesterday. They transferred me to four different departments and none had an answer for me.

The sports guy was so short and commented, "I have no control over that." Finally someone in circulation answered and said that the Morning Herald is more Tri-State news, and the Daily Mail is more Washington County.

I don't believe that Washington County is the Tri-State area. My son was in the Geography Bee at his school and plays on the ASL Basketball league and none of this was printed in the morning paper. Why not? It's Tri-State area news and sports!

Getting the evening paper is not convenient for us because we have to drive to our mailbox, and many nights we don't go out - the morning is perfect for us.

I think the department should consider printing children's sports and activities in both newspapers. The children look forward to seeing their achievements in the newspaper.

It's not fair, and I am unhappy with the difference. You know everyone in Washington County and the Tri-State area should be able to read all happenings for Washington County period.

Why take that out, and replace it with Frederick County, Chambersburg, Martinsburg news, etc.? We don't care about that.

I hope you will consider looking into my complaint. No one seems to have a good answer for me.

Jana Thurber

Hagerstown

Give him a choice

To the editor:

In response to the article of the Jan. 29 front page of The Morning Herald: "Graduates in trouble - not enough community service hours to graduate."

My strong feeling is that this should not be a requirement to graduate! I believe students with a good social behavior background, which begins in kindergarten, should be able to use these 75 hours to enhance their careers goals.

I believe that community service should be used to discipline and try to teach juvenile delinquents how to fit into society! I have a fifth grade son who has excellent social behavior interaction. I FEEL HE SHOULD HAVE A CHOICE!

The time wasted in our schools for things such as this, is why our schools are at the bottom. Let students take these 75 hours and use them wisely to get a jump start on their careers.

Renee Welch

Hagerstown

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