A Long Island elementary school canceled its end-of-the-year kindergarten concert because educators need to focus on "preparing children for college and career," according to a letter sent home to parents.
The letter from educators at Harley Avenue Primary School in Elwood told parents that the cancellation of the show is part of the reality of "the changing face of education."
"The reason for eliminating the kindergarten show is simple," the letter went on. "We are responsible for preparing children for college and career with valuable lifelong skills and know that we can best do that by having them become strong readers, writers, coworkers, and problem solvers."
The letter sent Friday followed an initial notice April 10 that notified families of the May 14-15 show being canceled. That first letter explained that so much time was lost this school year to bad weather that educators believed it was best to spend the rest of the year "concentrating on preparing for first grade."
The followup letter was sent to "help you better understand how the demands of the 21st century are changing schools."
The show is being replaced with a game day.
A spokeswoman for the Elwood superintendent said in a statement that the district only offers half-day kindergarten, and that the educators believe the children's time is better spent focusing on lessons, rather than preparing for the show.
Ashley Weiner, a mother of a kindergartner, says she's a "little bit angry" by the cancellation of the show.
"Nowadays kids focus so much on one thing, academics, and not so much on being well-rounded and enjoying the little things in life as a kindergarten show," she said.
Added parent Tabitha Black, "I think it's a disservice to the kids to take it away, because everything they're saying they want them to learn, they learn from doing this -- they learn how to be in front of people, they learn confidence, and they're so proud."
June Citrin, who has a daughter going into kindergarten in September, said while she would "love to see her in the show," she wouldn't "go crazy" if they decided not to hold one and if her daughter wasn't in it.
--Roseanne Colletti contributed to this story