District presents calendar plans

Proposed schedule includes shorter days, longer school year, adjusted breaks

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In other action

In other action, the Moffat County School Board:

• Recognized Moffat County School District students who scored in the top 20 percent in the state for growth in the writing portion of the Colorado Student Assessment Program test.

• Approved, 7-0, the 2009 audit report.

• Approved, 7-0, a first reading of policy 6102, school year/school calendar

• Approved, 7-0, a rescission of policy 9316, minutes.

• Approved, 7-0, a rescission of policy 9312, special school meetings.

• Approved, 7-0, a first reading of policy 9311, school board meetings, which included information from the previous rescinded policies.

After three years of a modified school year calendar, the Moffat County School District is proposing a return to a longer school year and shorter days.

In a work session before its monthly meeting Thursday, district administrators presented a proposed school calendar for the 2010-11 school year, which, if adopted, will remain in effect for the next three years.

The calendar was changed at the last review in 2007, lengthening summers to accommodate construction and school reconfiguration.

The proposed calendar will adjust the dates and school start times back to pre-construction levels.

Mark Rydberg, district finance director and member of the School Calendar Committee, said there were several reasons the calendar was developed to resemble the 2007 schedule.

He said there was concern throughout the district three years ago about moving to longer days and whether it was conducive to student learning and achievement, even though the number of instruction hours remained the same.

School policy and state law dictate grades 7 through 12 must receive 1,080 hours of instruction and elementary students 990, but it does not mandate a configuration for those hours.

“Basically, when we went to the new one three years ago, we compressed the number of days and lengthened the school days,” Rydberg said. “There was some concern — a lot of it from the high school staff — that having an extra two minutes per period didn’t quite make up the nine days that they lost.

“The number of hours stayed the same, but they weren‘t sure if it worked out that way, educationally.”

With those concerns in mind, the School Calendar Committee made it one of their guiding principles to return to a configuration similar to the pre-construction calendar.

“We had to change it before for the construction, and now all we’re doing is returning to where it was before,” he said.

There are some minor differences between the 2010 proposed calendar and the pre-construction calendar, including an earlier start date.

In the proposed calendar, the first day of school will fall on Aug. 18, three days earlier than 2007 and about nine days earlier than the past three years.

The three days will be added onto winter break, which will be 10 days long.

Another significant change from recent calendars is the timing of spring break, which is typically scheduled in mid-March.

To fit into the schedule of Colorado Student Assessment preparations and testing, spring break will be pushed back to the second full week in April.

So far, Rydberg said he has received a few negative comments about the start from staff members who are worried about the heat in early August.

Rydberg said the school district is looking for feedback from staff and parents, and it will review the proposal at upcoming meetings.

The calendar will be put before the school board for vote at its February meeting.

Nicole Inglis can be reached at 875-1793, or ninglis@craigdailypress.com.

Comments

citizensforgrowth 4 years, 10 months ago

It would seem the school district has a bad case of twentymileitis. An alarming tendancy of blaming all your problems on your schedule.

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calvinhobbs 4 years, 10 months ago

Parents with younger children need to speak up. One of the new calender options has a TWO hour early release on Thursdays 2 times a month. What are they going to do getting out of school at 1:30? This time is to be used for teacher planning. I see the need for teachers to get some extra time to plan, but why not dismiss one hour early every FRIDAY? That way my kids who are in high school will not miss as much school due to football, basketball, wrestling and baseball trips. Mid August is also to early, why a 7 hr day with kids? Why not look at 4 day weeks? longer days, Then save $ on buses, fuel, insurance heating, lights, bus driver salaries would be lost affecting those people, but maybe give them a slight raise to help offset this, same with lunch ladies.. Have the teachers use Friday as their planning, 2 hours in the morning every Friday. Have failing kids come in on Friday, get extra help, I think they call it INTERVENTIONS. Athletes miss less school and have more time on task. Hayden and Baggs use 4 day weeks on this model. It works and SAVES money. Just my 2 pennies worth.

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eieiolrighty 4 years, 10 months ago

I agree with you calvinhobbs....it is ridiculous to start school up so early in August. Do they realize how dang hot it is in those schools in August? I would love to see a four day week. How much actually gets done at the high school on Fridays anyway? All the athletes are gone so the teachers don't seem to do much teaching....

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dogfan 4 years, 10 months ago

Does the school board take into consideration the area we live in. Alot of the kids are still busy working on their family farms and ranches, fairs are still going on, and it can still be pretty hot then. What is wrong with the schedule they are on now?

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