Furloughs end Halloween parade
by Maddy Houk, Patterson Irrigator
Oct 12, 2011 | 1951 views | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Students and teachers gather for a Halloween Parade in years past. This year's event is being canceled because of furlough days scheduled for Oct. 31 and Nov. 1.--Irrigator file photo
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After more than 30 years of superheroes, princesses and ghouls marching down Patterson’s downtown streets, Northmead and Las Palmas elementary school students will not participate in a Halloween Parade this year.

The Patterson Association of Teachers successfully negotiated last year to take off both Oct. 31 and Nov. 1 as furlough days, so neither students nor staff will be in school on Halloween.

“Part of the thinking was the Halloween activities, to some degree, get the kids excited,” said Esther Corral-Carlson, superintendent of the Patterson Joint Unified School District. “Bringing costumes and treats to school and staying out late trick-or-treating makes them tired the next day, too (Nov. l).”

In recent years, school teaching days have been scaled back from 180 days to 175 days of lessons because of budget cuts.

“Teachers are really feeling the need to make sure curriculum is covered by the end of the school year,” Corral-Carlson said. “Each school has the autonomy to decide what activities they do.”

Northmead School staff met and decided instead of having a parade having a Character Counts awards time the afternoon of Oct. 28, a Friday, Principal Joe Silveira said.

“It was a tough decision, but as a staff we decided that, in end, we had the students’ best interests at heart,” Silveira said.

Character Counts is centered around six traits — responsibility, caring, respect, fairness, trustworthiness and citizenship. Silveira explained the monthly rewards are aimed at improving student behavior in the classroom and on the playground.

Rewards and prizes will be given and Silveria is confident the students will have a good time.

Las Palmas, which has participated with Northmead in the parade during the past few years, also is not participating this year because of the furlough days, according to office staff.

•Contact Maddy Houk at 892-6187 or maddy@pattersonirrigator.com.

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