The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

June 24, 2013

Board questioned about graduate’s penmanship

By Joe Pinchot
Herald Staff Writer

HERMITAGE — Frank Misinay received a thank-you note from a recent Hickory High School graduate, whose graduation party he attended, but the handwriting was so bad it looked like a second-grader had written it, he said.

In the age of computers and text messages, old-school communicators have lamented the deterioration of penmanship among young people. There are no more men of letters, only masters of emoticons.

But, surely there’s still a need for legible handwriting, at least on occasion?

“If they go and get a job, how do they write their name?” Misinay asked Hermitage School Board Thursday. “Do they just write an X?”

Misinay asked the board if the district teaches handwriting anymore.

Handwriting, both print and cursive, is taught daily in grades kindergarten through three at Artman Elementary School, said Principal Amy Wanchisn.

Beyond third grade, the only formal teaching of handwriting occurs if a student is deemed to need “corrective teaching,” said Director of Curriculum Brian Schaller.

Students are allowed to write or print on essays and other assignments in which writing is required, and there is no requirement to, say, write an essay only in cursive, Schaller said.

Regarding the student’s thank-you note, Schaller said, “That senior, sometimes they’re just writing through to write cards.”