RFSD to hold public meetings about school calendar options | PostIndependent.com

RFSD to hold public meetings about school calendar options

In order to gather community input and to explain the need for a different approach to the school year, Roaring Fork School District Superintendent Judy Haptonstall and board of education members will be holding an open meeting from 6:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 23, at Glenwood Springs Middle School. Similar community meetings will be held in Basalt, at Basalt High School on Oct. 27 and in Carbondale on Nov. 13 at Roaring Fork High School.

The district has taken feedback from district staff, parents and the community regarding school calendar ideas and will be taking a single calendar proposal to the broader community, with plans to adopt a final version in December. The new school calendar will not take effect until fall 2009, so the December adoption should provide sufficient notice.

The key features of the calendar include an earlier start date for students, the elimination of all but one staff development day during the school year, and the addition of a three-day October break for students. Under this proposed plan, the school year is scheduled to end before Memorial Day.

The biggest departure from “business as usual” comes in the form of expanded programming for elementary and middle school students. In working to balance the needs of teachers regarding time for planning, collaboration and training and the needs of parents regarding child care during our traditional staff development days, this new expanded program satisfies both teacher and parent needs. This proposal addresses the requests from parents for more programs at the schools in the area of arts, foreign language, outdoor education and recreation.

The new calendar proposal calls for a 1:45 p.m. release every Wednesday during the school year. Parents will have the option to pick up their student or have their student walk home.

Elementary and middle school students can remain at their schools and participate in a variety of activities provided by each respective community recreation center, parents and other nonprofit organizations.

These programs will range from no cost to low cost, with recreation centers needing to charge $5 per student per week for student participation.

By providing the programs at the school, students will not need additional transportation to other locations and will be at the school to take the bus home as they always do. Using the school location also allows noninstructional staff to support the organization and supervision of the programs in each of the schools.

The RFSD’s goal was to develop a structure for the school year that has a high positive impact on teachers and students and a low impact on parents.

Parents and community can view both the current calendar and the new proposal at http://www.rfsd.k12.co.us. Information on the school calendar is on the main page after the introduction.

After reading the calendar proposal, there is a survey online to provide feedback.

– For more information contact Judy Haptonstall at 384-6001

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