Springfield Schools Consider Weekly Late Start Or Early Dismissal

Apr 22, 2014

District 186 Headquarters
Credit Rachel Otwell/WUIS

Springfield public schools may start classes later once per week, beginning next school year. But the district is going to garner more public feedback before making a final decision. After district officials spoke with a group of parents, it was clear some are against the original plan of pushing back the start of the school day. Now another option is on the table: early dismissal. Either way - it'd be a redistribution of hours slated for professional development.

Kathy Crum is with the district and says teachers would use the time for job-training activities like listening to speakers or writing and revising their objectives. "What wouldn’t be happening is teachers just having an extra hour to drink coffee or whatever ... so if you can think about the long school improvement days, it’s like you’re taking those and you’re dividing them out into hours," said Crum.

Crum says she hopes to have public meetings scheduled by Tuesday in order to solicit more feedback from parents. She says the local teacher union has been floating the idea for years: "When we cut the budget - and middle and high schools having no collaboration time now - that was really the final straw when we really need to do something." A final decision has to be approved by June for the change to take affect at the start of the school year.