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Letters to the Editor

July 21, 2010

What's to like about a half day of school?



To the editor:

School days start for students in Washington County on Aug. 18. The school calendar is posted on the WCPS website.

Although it has been a long time since I attended elementary school and high school (and there were no primary schools or middle schools to attend in those days of yore), I don't remember ever attending school for only a half day.

This year's school calendar shows half-days are scheduled for Oct. 1 and 29; Jan. 14; March 4; and April 20. This schedule does not appear to be "parent-friendly" because making arrangements to take care of the children for half days is difficult if both parents are working. In addition, I doubt if very much learning is taking place on those days when the students are looking forward to going home early.

There are some private schools in this county that have very good reputations and I wonder if the private schools have also bought into the half-day scheduling.

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Although all the teachers have to report for work before Aug. 18, the 2010-2011 teacher salary scale is not on the WCPS website. This newspaper contained articles in March and April of this year about the teachers' salaries for the 2010-2011 school year.

Apparently talks are still ongoing or else the website would contain the information necessary for everyone to determine if the teachers will get a pay raise and how much the pay raise will be.

For what it is worth, I didn't get a pay raise this year.

Daniel Moeller
Rohrersville




'Home of the Brave' is not an exclusive



To the editor:

"Home of the Brave" rights are not owned exclusively by any choral group. I applaud the Hancock Assembly of God for presenting such a fine historical/patriotic musical for its July 4 celebration. But some background information and clarification needs to be made.

In May 2001, the 50-member St. Patrick's Chorale presented "Home of the Brave" on Memorial Day at Hagerstown Community College, accompanied by a concert band of 25 instruments. We were gratified by a standing-room-only audience. Our presentation included dramatic impersonations of each historical figure of the composition and full military representation by members of each branch of the service.

Then came Sept. 11, 2001. At the end of September, Eric Rosenthal, a local businessman, called me and asked if I could put it together again by Nov. 11, Veterans Day, to be presented at The Maryland Theatre. There were possibly 200 empty seats and we raised $10,000 for the American Red Cross.

In 2007, we repeated that performance again at The Maryland Theatre to commemorate our 10th anniversary. In December 2007, the chorale presented its final concert. The St. Patrick's Chorale has since dissolved as a 501(c)3 Maryland nonprofit corporation. Each member has retained a copy of the composition, and may at any time reassemble and present it again. No choral group owns the exclusive rights to the presentation of the composition.

Again, thank you, Linda Singleton.

Sandra R. Shirey
Founder/director St. Patrick's Chorale
Hagerstown

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