In April of 2010 the Monroe County Community School Corporation was scrutinized for having the shortest instructional day allowed under Indiana law. With new state school grading systems implemented for the 2011-2012 school year, the district extended its schedule.
“We were really brought in to decide how do we measure this? How do we look at it?” IU Senior Nicole Gideon asked. “What are the first steps when we can ultimately decide if this is successful or not, how can we decide on doing that?”
IU Senior Jonathon Molden and others conducted an overview. Results obtained through focus groups, surveys and other methods, will now attempt to quantify the effectiveness of the longer school day.
“The biggest limitation is that it is just so early in the process. The data is being created as we speak,” Molden says. “It was too early for us to look at that, so we looked more at qualitative measures. We talked to teachers, talking to students, talking to principals, getting their first-hand perspective of how the day has changed over the last year.”
IU’s Center for Evaluation and Education Policy, or CEEP, is analyzing the data, but officials say it is too early to receive reliable results. Still, MCCSC Administrator Jan Bergeson says leaders will listen to any proposed changes the numbers suggest before next school year.
“At the end of March, the committee needs to make a recommendation to the school board about any changes that we would like or could make to the school day for next fall,” Bergeson says.
CEEP officials say 2 to 3 years may be needed for final results.