South Routt looks at changing school day |

South Routt looks at changing school day

In other action

The South Routt School Board:

Approved Joel Harris as the District 5 replacement for Gary Miller, who resigned.

Accepted the resignation of District 1 representative Janette Manke effective May 1.

Approved the teaching contracts of Devin DuPree, Raylene Olinger and Danelle Rivera

Approved the Adoption/Deletion of Sports Programs Policy 12.14b

an Extended Service Award for Mary Shanklin

— South Routt students may be putting their alarm clocks in the closet next year.

The South Routt School District wants to alter next year’s school calendar to create more collaboration time for teachers, and starting school later is the option most appealing to administrators, Superintendent Kelly Reed said.

The proposed option has school starting at 8:55 a.m. at the secondary and elementary level. The school day would end at 3:40 p.m. at the high school and middle school and at 3:25 p.m. at the elementary school.

Currently, school starts at 8:20 a.m. in South Routt and dismisses at 3:15 p.m. at the secondary level and at 3 p.m. at the elementary school.

Teachers wouldn’t have collaboration time Mondays or Fridays, but they would come in at 7:40 a.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, so they could have more time to work together without students.

The district administrative team, which includes secondary principal James Chamberlin and elementary principal Michael Young, has recommended to the South Routt School Board that the later start is the best option for the district.

The other options to create teacher collaboration time are an early-release on Wednesdays or a four-day school week with no school on Fridays for students, but teachers would meet to collaborate every other Friday.

A late start, the administrative team noted, would minimize child-care issues, which would be more of an issue with an early release or four-day school week. A late start would push back the time when buses would have to be on roads, which could be beneficial in the winter. Having three set mornings for collaboration time is a consistent schedule, which is good for students and teachers.

The one disadvantage is that three hours a week may not be enough time for teachers, and the reason for the change is entirely staff-driven.

“Collaboration time is huge for staff,” Reed said. “We wouldn’t have gone forward without the support of staff.”

The district recently held public meetings to explain why it wanted to change the school schedule and to receive feedback on what community members and parents thought. The district also posted a survey online so people who could not attend the meetings had a chance to see the four district options and offer insight.

Reed said approximately 70 people attended the community meetings and an additional 53 families filled out surveys online, giving the district the feedback it wanted.

“The results literally ran the gamut,” Reed said. “There was more support for a late start in the day so teachers could have one hour of uninterrupted collaboration time.”

Although a later start received parental support, Reed said the support was by no means unanimous or decisive, but “the four-day school was received poorly at the elementary level,” Reed said.

The School Board is expected to take action on a new calendar and schedule at its April 19 meeting.

-To reach Melinda Mawdsley call 871-4208

or e-mail

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