WAHS Plans for Presidential Address

I thought Crozetians might be interested in this email I just received from the principal of Western Albemarle High School:

On Tuesday, September 8th at 12:00 noon, President Barack Obama will deliver a speech to our nation’s schoolchildren about the importance of education, working hard, setting educational goals and persisting to overcome challenges. It will be webcast from www.whitehouse.gov and broadcast on C-SPAN. The purpose of the speech is to help set the tone for the 2009-10 school year and to challenge students to do well. He will also announce a nationwide video contest called “I am What I Learn” that students may choose to participate in this fall. The full text of his speech will be posted online prior to the broadcast at the White House web site.

Viewing the President’s address is not mandatory in any way. President Obama’s address to students will be available for students who, with their families, decide they would like to see it. As an address by the nation’s chief executive, it carries historical significance and is relevant to our citizenship, character education and lifelong learning curricular objectives.

Teachers also have the responsibility, in accordance with our School Board policy KF, to remain non-partisan in their views expressed in the classroom, and not to use their position to advance any political cause. Teachers may choose to use some, all or none of the US Dept. of Education classroom activities and as with any curricular activity, if a parent objects to the lesson, they may opt out without penalty and be given an alternate assignment that meets the same curricular goals.

The webcast was discussed at the Department Chair meeting yesterday afternoon and it was decided that the best way to proceed is to modify the schedule, starting lunch at 11:55. The speech will be shown on classroom TVs (Channel 40) and in the auditorium. Students may choose to stay in the room to watch the webcast, take their lunch and watch in the auditorium, or opt not to watch and go to lunch. It will not be shown in the cafeteria, or library media center.

Dave Francis

Update 7 September 2009: The text of the prepared remarks at whitehouse.gov.

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