Free Lance-Star reporter Amy Umble covers Stafford County schools and other education issues
Not quite paperless…
Ferry Farm Elementary School Principal Robert Freeman had green in mind when he asked teachers to stop using so much paper.
Just not the green they assumed.
Monday, second-grade teachers sent a note home to parents telling them that homework packets would stop for the rest of the year because of a paper shortage. They attributed the shortage to “the effects of the budget crunch.”
But it turns out there isn’t a shortage at Ferry Farm.
“There is no paper issue,” said Valerie Cottongim, public information officer for Stafford County Public Schools.
Freeman was instead encouraging teachers to use technology, such as smartboards, instead of printing out worksheets. And asking them to put more items on the SchoolFusion site. Each teacher has a page on that site and can use it to post the list of spelling words, math problems and other assignments. For older students, teachers can also post grades to the site. Some teachers use the technology more than others and Freeman wanted to see more using SchoolFusion.
Freeman was more concerned about conservation in the environmental sense than the economic sense, Cottongim said. Although saving paper would certainly do both, and Stafford schools are definitely looking for ways to cut back.
After a blog post about the note, some county residents have dropped off paper at Ferry Farm. While Freeman and his staff are grateful for the support, they weren’t facing a shortage, Cottongim emphasized.
If residents are looking for ways to support the schools, they are trying to find money for a new career and technical education center and a fiber optics upgrade, Cottongim laughed.