Late Start Thursdays Information for 2021-2022
As part of announcing the approval of the 2021-22 calendar at the January 26, 2021 Board of Education meeting, families were informed of a shift from early release to late start Thursdays for teacher planning and collaboration. We wanted to provide further clarification for this change in practice starting in the fall.
First, it’s important to note that all students are able to arrive at normal school start times, in spite of the collaborative time preserved for teachers. We will partner with Adventure Club and other classified staff members to ensure supervision of students during this 45-minute window. Just as in other professions beyond teaching, collaboration and professional development alongside colleagues produces organizational improvement. While this opportunity for our teachers is of great importance to result in gains for students, it can’t be at the expense of families. Children will be cared for during the traditional school hours.
The shift from early release to late start was in part, due to our five tier transportation system. NKC Schools’ buses run routes for high school, middle school, the sixth grade centers, early elementary sites, then late elementary sites. That’s not to mention the various programs and additional services for which we provide transportation. In the early release model, we found that both early and late elementary schools, in particular, often had 15 or fewer minutes for collaboration and professional development by the time routes prior to theirs had been completed and bus duty ended. This wasn’t an effective model in providing for the professional learning of all staff members. Particularly as we expand our thinking around educational experiences, offering both virtual and physical opportunities; teachers need time to plan, create and conference with families to improve student outcomes. The 45-minute late start will ensure this valuable time can have its intended impact.
While this will be a change compared with what we’ve become accustomed to, NKC Schools was mindful of the needs of families, while also attending to those of our teaching staff. Serving families and children is of utmost importance to the Board of Education. Should you have further question about the late start Thursdays in the fall of 2021, feel free to utilize Let’s Talk for more conversation.