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13485 Cumberland Rd, Fishers, IN 46038
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Late Start Days Set for 2012-13
Release Date: August 26th, 2012
Late start Wednesdays for all schools: September 19, October 3, November 7, January 16, February 6, February 27, April 10. Additional late start Wednesdays for high schools: August 29, September 26, Nov. 14, March 6, March 20
A committee of parents, teachers and administrators reviewed HSE’s professional development (PD) needs and created a plan to provide training. The state now requires more professional development, and greater accountability makes more collaboration necessary. At the same time, the state has tightened restraints that limit opportunities during the school day.
The need for professional development time has exceeded our ability to creatively meet it without adjusting some days’ schedules. However, we believe providing training is important enough to do so. It affects our ability to provide the quality of instruction you expect. Other area schools such as Avon, Brownsburg, Carmel, Noblesville and Zionsville, have made similar adjustments providing from 18 to 50 hours of training outside the school day each year. We believe training and collaboration is essential to maintain our students’ high achievement.
What are some of those professional development needs?
** Education has undergone significant changes. With these changes has come an increase in demands and expectations placed on teachers. These demands require professional development to ensure teachers stay current and well-informed (Common Core Standards, 21st Century skills, etc.). This quote about the Common Core Standards illustrates the need well: “While we are promoting radical change in creating a coherent national framework for what students should know and the way they learn, we have not yet committed to offering teachers the deep learning they will need to transform the way they work.” Stephanie Hirsh, Education Week Feb. 1, 2012.
** The state requires schools to include professional development in each annual school improvement plan.
** Staff members need time to learn from experts about current, most effective instructional techniques and embedding new technologies into curriculum.
** To strengthen student performance and programs to better equip them for the 21st Century work force requires teachers to collaborate, brainstorm and learn from one another as well as outside experts in the field.
** Required student testing has increased, and staff must manage and analyze extensive data-- then adjust instructional strategies based on performance to meet student needs.
** Teacher evaluations are shifting focus to a new process and model that includes student performance data. Teachers will need PD to help them understand this comprehensive process.
Challenges of scheduling professional development:
** Unlike a business setting, teachers’ schedules are not flexible and involve supervision of students. Hiring substitutes to cover classes for teachers is too costly at $65 per day.
** The state no longer allows half-days to count as student full-days in the 180-day calendar—one way PD was delivered in the past.
** Daily instructional time surpassing state-required minutes can be used with a late start or early dismissal of students.
** Late starts and early dismissals pose logistical and cost challenges for transportation as well as scheduling inconveniences and childcare difficulties for parents and families
** Teachers already log hours of school-related work outside the school day (academic teams, sports, clubs, performances etc.). Requiring attendance then would have to be optional under employment contract agreements.
** Late-start time of one hour on the following Wednesdays: September 19, October 3, November 7, January 16, February 6, February 27, and April 10. (The High Schools will have the following additional days, which will not work for the other grade levels for various reasons: August 29, September 26, Nov. 14, March 6, and March 20.)
** On days when all buildings have delayed starts, all buses operate on a one-hour delay. As a result, all buses pick up students one hour later than the normal scheduled times. On days when only the high schools have delayed starts, all buses run at their normal times.
** Buildings with before-school Y programs will offer expanded child care services on those days.
The 18-member committee, including eight parents, understands that any change in your child’s school schedule is an inconvenience and challenge to your daily routine. For that reason, the district has avoided professional development that would change family schedules in grades pre-K-8 for the past three years, since the state changed the law. With vast changes in education come increased demands. The committee recognizes that we have now reached the point where we need a structured, cohesive professional development plan to coordinate district and school improvement efforts. Committee members agree this is necessary to maintain educational excellence and best serve your children.
Why not other options:
** Early dismissal conflicted more with after-school activities and transportation
** Because of safety concerns, protocol is to return young children to school if parents are not home. In the past when early dismissals took place, this happened frequently.
** Why only 1 hour at a time instead of having fewer meetings for longer amounts of time? The state requires minimum time limits for instruction every day. Any time more than 1 hour and we would not meet the state requirements.
** Why delay the high schools an hour on the seven district PD days since they have had delayed-start days without delaying buses? If the HS buses run at the same time and the other buses are delayed for one hour, the bus drivers would have an hour to wait before making their next bus run. This would cost the district an extra hour of pay for each bus driver.
Hamilton Southeastern Schools Central Administration
13485 Cumberland Road
Fishers, IN 46038
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