On back-to-school night this year, parents were informed that the middle and high schools would start having late-in-Wednesdays, with school starting at 10 AM and going until 2:30. Elementary schools already have early-out-Wednesdays.
Both are intended to give K-12 teachers more time out of the classroom … for all things they do outside the classroom that are more important than the kids in the classroom: “… Because there is so much pressure placed on educators as the result of legislative mandates and board rules”.
This new policy was passed at a little-attended school board meeting over the summer. I’ve yet to meet a single person not on the board who knew this was coming (including more than one principal).
vX acquaintance Pete Akins makes an excellent point:
[Superintendant] Dulaney said the school day for the district’s high schools and middle schools would begin later every Wednesday to make time for the teachers to have their collaboration time in professional learning communities. …
Dulaney said in schools with high-functioning professional learning communities, policies and decisions are made mutually by all stakeholders, which includes students, teachers, paraprofessionals and families. …
After providing a brief outline of the plans for implementing late-start days at each secondary school in the district, parents and teachers weighed in on the subject.
Parent Pete Akins shared his concerns on how the proposed schedule changes could impact families.
He cited Dulaney’s statement that in high-functioning professional learning communities, all decisions and policies are made by stakeholders.
“If this decision has already been made, but has not been made with all of the stakeholders … it’s difficult to believe that all further policies would include all the stakeholders,” Akins said. [emphasis added]
Pete should take a run around the bases for that one … although its pithiness will matter little to the bureaucracy.
Of course, as I re-read this, it occurs to me that perhaps the superintendent doesn’t really intend her professional learning communities to be “high-functioning” at all. If she was just talking figuratively about the abstract, then she’s in the clear not to consult stakeholders at all … which is pretty much what they did this past summer.