School’s begun, but it starts later on Mondays
Just as students and parents in the Roaring Fork School District Re-1 are getting used to the back-to-school routine following the start of the new school year yesterday, a new Monday late start will go into effect come the middle of next month.
Every Monday beginning Sept. 14, all Re-1 schools in Glenwood Springs, Carbondale and Basalt will begin at 9 a.m., instead of the usual start time, which is around 8 a.m. or a little after depending on the school.
The late start is intended to provide teachers at each school a designated time to meet as a team and plan instruction for students, Re-1 Superintendent Judy Haptonstall said.
Instead of taking what had been seven teacher in-service days during the school year when students had a full day off, teachers will have one-and-a-half hours every Monday morning for that same purpose.
“It will be a time for training, as well as for planning instruction, looking at data and assessing individual kids and how they’re doing,” Haptonstall said.
One Monday per month will be dedicated to what she called “response and intervention,” where teachers will collaborate to address the needs of specific students.
The in-service days, identified as “IDD days” on the school district calendar, have been added back into the regular school day schedule. The only IDD day when students will be out of school is scheduled for Jan. 15, 2010.
The late Monday start will also mean that student bus pick-up schedules will be adjusted starting Sept. 14. A revised Monday pick-up schedule will announced soon.
Earlier this year, district administrators and the school board opted for the late Monday start over other options, one of which would have been an early Wednesday release for students.
“The community was not very supportive of that option,” Haptonstall said. “We looked at all of the options, and the late Monday start seemed to work best.”
For some parents, that will mean shuffling morning work schedules or finding other arrangements for students during that hour.
District staff has approached some child care programs and other organizations about possibly offering some type of before-school programs for younger students, Haptonstall said.
“Some of the high schools are also running early classes for the older students, but that doesn’t really work for the younger kids,” she said. “I think those kinds of things will pop out of the woodwork. It is an opportunity for nonprofits to offer something in the schools.”
One Carbondale after school and summer camp program, Camp Run A Muk, plans to offer a fee-based “Breakfast Club” beginning at 7:30 a.m. on Mondays as one option for Carbondale parents.
“We’re working on a flyer to let parents know we are available,” camp counselor April Prater said. “It will be a mellow morning, where the kids can have breakfast together and maybe do some reading.”
One concern Haptonstall has are the parents who already drop their children off at school sometimes up to 90 minutes before school starts.
“Typically, we do have people on duty as soon as first bus comes, but that’s not until about 7:30,” she said. And on Mondays once the late start takes effect, there won’t be anyone available to supervise children until around 8:30 a.m.
“I do worry about those kids who are there by themselves before school starts,” Haptonstall said. “We will let people know when we do have supervision, and work with parents to let them know what else they might be able to do during that time.”
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