Janesville50°

Tuesdays change for Janesville schools

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FRANK J. SCHULTZ
October 1, 2010
— Janesville middle and high schools will start classes 20 minutes later than usual every Tuesday starting next week, but parents and students don’t need to change their schedules, district officials said.

Middle and high schools will start classes at 8:20 a.m. instead of 8 a.m. on Tuesdays. Aides will supervise students who arrive earlier.


“We’re confident there are not going to be any issues with safety. All of our students are still going to be supervised,” said Steve Sperry, district director of administrative and human resources.


Meanwhile, all the district’s teachers will actually be required to report to school earlier than normal.


The change is required by the recently approved teachers contract, which rearranges the teachers’ training-and-planning schedule.


Starting Tuesday, Oct. 5, teachers will report for “professional development” at 7:30 a.m. every Tuesday morning for the rest of the school year. Teachers’ regular start time is 7:45.


The sessions are called Professional Development Tuesdays.


The Tuesday sessions will replace the sessions that used to occur after school one Wednesday a month.


Elementary schools will start classes at the normal time of 8:20 a.m., but aides—not teachers—will supervise children who arrive early on Tuesdays.


“These changes will not inconvenience our parents and families. Students will report at the normal starting time, and supervision will be provided,” according to a school district news release. “Bus student schedules and breakfast clubs will remain the same.”


Middle and high school classes generally start at 8 a.m., Sperry said. But on Tuesdays, they’ll start at 8:20 a.m. The minutes between 8 a.m. and 8:20 are normally reserved for advisory/homeroom Sperry said, so no instructional time will be lost.


Middle and high school students can come to school later on the 34 Tuesdays that school is in session, but buses will run on their normal schedules.


Students still can arrive at the normal time, Sperry said. The district didn’t want to inconvenience parents who already have their morning schedules fixed.


“I think parents will want to keep children on the same schedule. We’re hoping that’s going to happen,” Sperry said. “But they have that option (of coming to school later on Tuesdays).”


Students will be able to sit in the cafeteria and study, Sperry said.


Each principal is working with his or her school’s teacher leadership team to develop a monthly calendar, which will be posted on school websites. The calendars will tell what teachers are working on during those Tuesday morning sessions, Sperry said.


The district said in a statement that the professional development sessions are a key part of a plan to improve student achievement.


“This meeting time is highly valued, and therefore no activities shall be scheduled or conflict with the designated time,” according to the news release.


Sperry said principals will monitor how the new schedule is working, and adjustments could be made.


Parents should fill out suggestion forms if they have any issue with the change, Sperry said.



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