The Monroe County Community School Corporation plans to keep its extended school day. At the beginning of the school year, MCCSC added three hours of instruction at the secondary level each week and four hours at the elementary level.
A committee of parents, students, and administrators that was formed in January to review the new schedule recommended at last night’s board meeting that the district keep the current schedule and maintain the current length of the school day.
Parent Sally Baird said she was apprehensive about the longer school day when the corporation initially announced it. She says she felt it was an unnecessary change, but after serving on the committee, she feels it is improving the quality of student’s education.
“I certainly still have concerns on this that need to be addressed and given more attention, but as a whole I think that our corporation is moving in the right direction with this,” Baird says.
One of the major concerns the committee as a whole cited was the late start on Wednesdays. Many parents said it created a hardship while teachers reported that the extra time on Wednesday mornings gave them more time to collaborate.
Elementary Education Director Cameron Rains says the school board is going to look at the committee’s report and see if there are ways to make improvements.
“Three of the main things at the elementary level would be child care on Wednesday,” Rains says. “How can we find ways to ease that burden on families that have difficulty finding child care?”
The committee also recommended the board look into ways to address student fatigue. A couple of suggestions that were proposed include giving students scheduled “brain breaks” and reviewing transportation routes in an effort to reduce the time children are on the bus.