School administrators consider extended school day schedules

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Next year Moffat County students will probably be spending about 20 minutes longer in school each day.

That is if school officials and administrators continue to move forward with proposals to lengthen school days, and those proposals are approved by the board of education within the next two months.

Each school administrator, from preschool through high school, presented a new proposed schedule for next year at Monday night's board of education meeting.

Some schools had one proposal and some had two or three they were still considering.

"It's not set in stone," said East Elementary School Principal Diana Cook of the proposed schedule. "We're still trying to tweak it here and there."

Regardless of what the finalized schedules are, school officials say 20 to 30 minutes probably will be tacked onto the end of the school day next year.

Administrators hope the extended schedule will allow more time for intervention, in which students who need additional help can have one-on-one time with teachers and aides, and advanced students, who are ahead of the curriculum being taught, can have time to work on more challenging projects.

Some of the proposals presented Monday would require additional aides at some of the schools but those plans are still under consideration, administrators said.

Craig Intermediate School Principal Martha Paxton said teachers in her school have worked hard to come up with a plan that will benefit the students.

"They're really thinking outside the box and working hard on ways to meet the district goals," she said.

A "teaming concept" will be incorporated into the new plans at both CIS and Craig Middle School.

Under the "teaming concept," teachers work together to educate one group of students in different curriculum areas.

Superintendent Pete Bergmann said more work must be done at each school before the new proposed schedules are finalized.

"It's a work in progress," Bergmann said. "There's still unanswered questions in every school. But we anticipate having this come together before spring break."

If time is added to the day, everyone needs to make sure a good plan is in place to use that time, he said.

"It's not just adding time to a calendar," he said. "It's what you do with that time during the day."

Josh Nichols can be reached at 824-7031 or jnichols@craigdailypress.com.

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