School district scheduling a good move |

School district scheduling a good move


Summit School’s recent decision to change the schedule next year to allow more teacher development is a good move for the district, but one that should come with plenty of review.

Fortunately, that’s the plan. Starting next year, the district will use one hour, one day a week for teacher collaboration and extend the school day the rest of the week to make sure students are not losing class time. District officials have said from the beginning that the entire school year will be used to change and tweak the system ” or scrap it altogether. Parents, students, coaches and teachers with problems and solutions can approach the district or their individual principles, who are expecting the feedback.

Here’s a little more background: During its first try at schedule changes in 2002-2003, the school district switched to four, half-day teacher meetings throughout the year for its staff to collaborate. They tried to fit too much into those meetings, which weren’t as constructive. They realized they needed regular, weekly meetings for this program to be a success.

Unfortunately, in 2003-2004, new superintendent Lynn Spampinato ended the program with no debate. After Spampinato left the district, Millie Hamner filled her position and, after succeeding to gain community support behind a mill levy and bond issue (which can only be used for capital projects), they went back to the drawing board to find more teacher development time.

Hamner and her staff learned from the mistakes in 2002-2003, and are going forward with a new plan, and one that won’t cost a taxpayer penny.

With high turnover and a consistently young teacher pool, development and training is of high priority and should, if done correctly, mean more coordinated lesson plans between classrooms.

After years of discussion, the school district has acted. It’s the community’s responsibility now to react constructively and provide the necessary feedback.

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