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Madison Co. Schools start times may change next school year

Superintendent Matt Massey proposed the change at Thursday's board of education meeting.

Posted: Nov 16, 2018 10:16 AM
Updated: Nov 16, 2018 4:46 PM

Madison County Schools Superintendent Matt Massey proposed a change to the start time for all schools starting next school year. The late start proposal is one way the board is trying to make time for teachers to meet in their professional learning communities. These communities are small teams of teachers who get together to figure out the best way to academically coach students.

"When it's all said and done at the end of the day, it's for the kids," Rebecca Rundle, a mother of two Madison County Schools students, said.

Rundle said she wants what's best for her kids, even if that means starting school 45 minutes later every Wednesday to give teachers extra meeting time.

"Our teachers need to collaborate and work as a team," Madison County Schools Superintendent Matt Massey said.

These teams, or professional learning communities, help reinforce the idea that teachers are responsible for the success of every student under their umbrella of expertise, not just the ones in their individual classrooms.

"Whether it's the third grade teachers or the math teachers at a school and they're looking at student data and they're comparing how their students are doing from classroom to classroom," Massey said.

That's what Superintendent Matt Massey wants to make time for. Here's part of the plan he proposed on how to make it happen:

On Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday of the 2019-2020 school year, class would start at 7:45 a.m. for students in kindergarten through intermediate school and end at 2:45 p.m. Students in middle and high school would start at 8:30 a.m. and end at 3:30 p.m. That schedule puts every student in class for a little more than six hours a day.

The proposed change comes on Wednesdays when the professional learning communities meet for 45 minutes before classes start. On those days, school would start at 8:30 a.m. for students in kindergarten through intermediate school and end at 2:45 p.m. Students in middle and high school would start class at 9:15 a.m. and end at 3:30 p.m. The change puts students in class for just under six hours a day, which is why it needs board approval.

"There is a 1975 state law that requires six hours of a minimum school day unless the board approves it otherwise," Massey said.

Even with half an hour possibly being cut from the school day, Rundle still backs the plan and even has her own solution.

"Shorten one class each week, so you're not having the same class that's being shortened every week," Rundle said.

The school board hasn't nailed down any specifics on possible changes to the bus schedule or early drop off for working parents. The late start proposal may not even pass. Massey said a final decision on the proposed plan won't be made for several months.

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