Re-1 poised to reduce class days
The Roaring Fork School District plans to cut six days of classroom education from the school year calendar to give teachers more time for training.
School board members mulled over more than a dozen calendar options since December. They’ve considered public, parent, staff, administrative and student comment.
Last week, the board gave tentative approval to a calendar that it says will meet the needs of staff and students.
Final approval of the calendar is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, Feb. 27, at the board’s regular meeting.
The calendar, one of three finalists brought before the board Feb. 13, was favored by the Superintendent’s Advisory Council, said assistant superintendent Judy Haptonstall. The council includes representatives from all of the district’s buildings and departments.
A handful of parents expressed concern in January when they learned that as many as six class, or student contact, days would be replaced by staff training days. Their main concern was over the amount of classroom time students would lose.
While recent calendars have included 174 student contact days, the new calendar provides for 169 school or student contact days. It also includes 15 staff development days, for a total of 184 staff contract days.
The board chose to cut student contact days in exchange for staff development days on the premise that more staff training will result in better teaching skills and strategies.
District superintendent Fred Wall said if after two years there were no signs of improvement in student achievement, the contact days would be added back to the calendar.
If adopted, the calendar would provide for staff in-service and administration of QRI reading tests prior to the start of the school year. School will begin the day after Labor Day and end the week after Memorial Day.
The calendar also allows for three full days off for students the week of Thanksgiving and two full weeks off for winter break.
Spring break will be taken the last week of March, which is in line with spring break for neighboring schools in the Garfield Re-2 School District.
A teacher in-service day to coincide with Presidents Day was also added to the calendar.
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