T he Tahoma School District superintendent has come up with two alternatives to the Monday late starts next year, and the district wants feedback from families before or during this Tuesday’s school board meeting.
Superintendent Mike Maryanski reviewed initial feedback from parents, staff and the school board to devise two options, both on Fridays: a 90-minute late start on Fridays or a 90-minute early release on Fridays.
“Friday was a popular alternative to Mondays for staff development time,” says district spokesman Kevin Patterson.
A special school board meeting has been scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday in the Rock Creek Elementary gym, allowing space and time for community members to argue for their preferred options. The school board hopes to choose one that very night, but if they cannot, they intend to decide by the end of the year so that families can be notified of the altered calendar, Patterson says.
The plan grew out of meetings earlier in the year of the district’s principals, who wanted to provide more frequent professional development time for the district’s teachers. Tahoma is one of the few districts in the region that still holds staff training and collaboration on full or half days just a few times a year. Most districts have moved to weekly professional development using districtwide late arrival or early release. Read more HERE and HERE.
At a March school board meeting, the principals proposed starting school 90 minutes late each Monday. This would replace the three full-release days and nine early-release days that Tahoma currently uses for professional development. The November parent conference schedule would not change.
Many parents and teachers, however, complained about the choice of Mondays.
“Teachers raised concerns about the Monday late-arrival plan, including impact on families and wanting to have students start fresh first thing on Mondays,” says Patterson.
Many parents advocated starting the weekend early with a Friday early release, but the principals were concerned that could wreak havoc on transportation to after-school activities and sports.
Can’t make the meeting? You can add to the comments below, which are read by district officials.
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