Welcome back teachers, staff, and students! I hope the vacation was restful and mentally prepared you to finish this final home stretch of the school year. Private schools, I hope you enjoy this week’s spring break. A message to my third grade math students: “Please don’t forget to have your multiplication flash cards ready upon return after break.”

In local news, I am proud to announce that our Cathedral City High School Chamber Singers received high ratings in both the World Strides Heritage Festival and the Hawaii Music Festival. According to the Palm Springs Unified School District (PSUSD), “The Lions’ Pride Chamber Singers of Cathedral City High School recently returned from the Hawaii Tour 2013 where they earned a “gold” and “superior” rating from adjudicators at the World Strides Heritage Festival and Superior rating from the Hawaii Music Festivals.” I am always very proud of all our Valley school programs that participate in out of district, state, and even out of country competitions and festivals. Thank you for bringing our valley to the world.

With the return of the students from spring break, many students will be suffering from some form of knowledge loss. When students leave school for any type of break, no matter how short, students tend to lose information learned. Busy parents may not have the time or availability to properly stimulate their kid’s mind to hold that information through the break. The result leaves teachers needing to review specific areas of knowledge, which takes away from moving forward in lessons. I spend one third of the time they are on break in review. If the break is one week, I spend approximately one to two days in review. For the summer break, I will spend approximately one month in review at the beginning of the year. Parents should expect this type of review process.

In a little national news, The National Rifle Association (NRA) is pushing and backing many groups that are proposing to train and arm teachers and staff. According to various sources, eighteen states already allow teachers, staff, and parents to be armed with little restrictions. I am against allowing guns on campus unless carried by law enforcement or security. Many teachers are already highly stressed and overwhelmed with the consistent grading and lesson planning. Putting a gun into the hands of a highly stressed and overwhelmed person, that has little to no combat experience I may add, is a recipe for disaster. Also, if teachers are allowed to carry guns, people may plan to take and use the guns carried in the classroom. I don’t like the issue. Let me know your thoughts by responding to this article at www.coachellavalleyweekly.com/category/education/.