Roaring Fork School District board approves new school calendar for 2009-10 |

Roaring Fork School District board approves new school calendar for 2009-10

John Gardner
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” Roaring Fork School Board members voted 4-1 in favor of a new proposed school calendar that will change Monday morning class times to 9 a.m.

However, district teachers still will be required to begin their day at 7:30 a.m., giving them a consistent weekly planning period.

School board member Debbie Bruell voted not to accept the new calendar because she felt that the process inadequately sought teacher input and that the additional time for planning was “a drop in the bucket.”

“I know there are a handful of people who have worked countless hours on this calendar, and I appreciate their work, but the process is too important to ignore,” Bruell said to the board. “If we don’t get teachers on board with a big decision like this from the start, we’ll pay for it later.”

The district has been working on the proposed school calendar for nearly two years. Other board members, like Bob Johnson, thought that it was time to take a step to provide teachers more planning time.

“I agree. It’s not the be-all, end-all answer,” Johnson said. “But the calendar is the first step in giving more time to the teachers and doing what is best for the education throughout the district. We need to get on with things and move forward. We’ve been talking about this for years now, and I think, at this point in time, we need to take the step. And this is a step that will satisfy many goals.”

The district held several public meetings with RFSD parents regarding an early release option, which would have released students at 1:45 p.m. on Wednesdays, one-and-a-half-hours early, but were met with much opposition from parents. So the district took suggestions from those meetings and an online survey, where parents provided feedback, and changed the early release to the late start option. Teachers provided additional information with 184-151 voting in favor of the late start option as well. The district has approximately 400 teachers.

The new calendar includes eliminating all but one staff development days (IDD), of which there were eight spread throughout the year. One IDD day remains in mid January. But allowing the hour-and-a-half block of time on Monday mornings makes up for the dissolution of the other IDD days.

“I know it’s going to be difficult for people ” in different areas ” to make the adjustment in their lives, and I just want them to know that we are conscious of that,” said board president Michael Bair. “We don’t do this lightly, but we do think it’s important to protecting teachers’ planning time.”

The board approved the new calendar for a two-year period that will begin in the fall of 2009.

Contact John Gardner: 384-9114

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