There is a lot of unrest in the community about the Nehalem school swim
Rumors are flying fast and furiously, and parents are concerned.
I went to a pubic meeting Tuesday evening 4/5/16 with Paul Ehrlebach,
school superintendent; Christy Woika, Nehalem grade school principal; 2
members of the school board; and 2 NCRD staff.
Neahkahnie School District administration is concerned about low
literacy scores of 3rd, 4th and 5th graders. They want an uninterrupted
90-minute “literacy block” that is difficult to schedule with all the
other requirements needing to be met.
So one consideration would shove the school swim program off to the side
and it would possibly not happen during school hours. Another possible
consideration is that the school swim program might shrink to once a
month, rather than once a week.
My suggestion, which I made at the meeting, is that the 90-minute
literacy block occur 4 days out of five, and the school swim continue
uninterrupted one day a week.
Right now there is not one uninterrupted 90-minute block for literacy.
Would not four days out of five, for nine months, be enough to help
bring those scores up?
We need to remember all the testimonials from teachers and parents about
the positive effects that swimming has on learning.
We need to remember that we have the oldest continually-operating school
swim program in the country.
We need to remember that we live in land interlaced and bordered by water–
rivers, creeks, lakes, bay, the ocean, and yet, not one local child
has drowned in those 80+ years of weekly school swim lessons. Further,
lives have been saved from drowning by residents who grew up here and
learned to swim in the Nehalem grade school swim program.