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District 186 Board Has Conflicting Opinions On Calendar Changes

Updated: Tuesday, April 22 2014, 02:38 PM CDT
The clock is ticking for District 186 school board members to approve calendar changes for next school year. While it may seem like a simple idea, the board doesn't want to interrupt parent schedules.

The board is proposing for students to have fewer days off next school year and more time in the classroom. In order to reach that goal, the district wants to add late start days so teachers can have collaboration time.

The school board says collaboration time is considered school improvement. That means teachers can work with students one on one who may need extra help or attend professional development that would otherwise take them out of the classroom.

Some board members are concerned that a late start once a week means parents will have trouble getting their kids to school.

The district did meet with a group of 21 parents to hear their concerns, but the board says more public opinion is needed before making a decision.

If schedule changes are to be made, the board needs to vote on it by June 1. Administrators are planning on a tight deadline.

"In this kind of work when you throw one little pebble in the water it make a ripple that goes across the whole lake, so we expected some of these things, and one of the reasons that we haven't brought it to the public before this time is because we wanted to have a lot of our bugs worked out," said Director of Teaching and Learning Kathy Crum.

Over the next two weeks, District 186 will reach out to more parents.

A school calendar must be submitted to the Regional Superintendent's Office by June 15.

If a consensus cannot be reached this year, late start days could be held off until the 2015 - 2016 school year.

Board members discussed having early dismissal days instead of late start days. That way, parents of young children would have fewer problems.

Monday night was supposed to be Board President Chuck Flamini's final night and potential replacements were to be named, but because three board members were absent due to illness and family events, the potential replacements will be named at the next school board meeting on May 5.District 186 Board Has Conflicting Opinions On Calendar Changes


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