Survey: School district wants to plan early dismissals


Every week? Every other? Late start or early dismissal? School Board wants to know


Clear Lake school leaders are sending home an assignment for parents this week -- a survey which will help determine the 2013-14 school calendar.  Specifically, the School Board is asking for input about early dismissal options.

During the current school year the district has scheduled early dismissals every other Wednesday to accommodate required teacher in-service dates.  

Board members say they have received criticism about the schedule from those who say its inconsistency (due to months with breaks and holidays) make it difficult to schedule.  In roughly half of the months in the school year, only one in-service is held, making the schedule random and confusing for those needing to plan transportation and child care.

The survey being distributed this week to parents asks if an early dismissal every week on Wednesday, rather than every other week, would be preferred.  It also asks parents to choose if the early dismissal should occur at 1:30, 2 or 2:15 p.m.

The survey also asks if parents would prefer a late start, rather than early dismissal.  Currently the Mason City School District starts its school day at 9 a.m. every Tuesday, allowing teachers to meet from 7:30-8:30 a.m.   If mornings are preferred over an early afternoon dismissal, the Clear Lake School District would also start at 9 a.m. on Tuesdays.

Board members say they recognize the inconvenience early dismissals can cause, but note school districts are mandated by the state to provide, at a minimum, 36 hours of professional development/learning time for teachers.  Under the governor’s reform plan, teachers are required to work collaboratively to address student achievement needs.  In addition, all districts are required to implement the Iowa Core/Common Core Curriculum.

Board member Chad Kuhlers said he has heard complaints from parents who don’t understand the need for so much teacher in-service time.  Parents wonder why the district cannot simply - Read More Via e-Edition

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