Public opinions appear to be divided on a plan put forward last night to extend the Monroe County Community School Corporation student day. The proposal would have Bloomington students spend longer hours in the classroom earlier in the morning, adding one hour to each school day. The exception is Wednesdays which would remain identical to this year’s current school schedule.
Currently the MCCSC has the shortest legally allowable school day which is the result of years of contract negotiations between the Monroe County Teacher’s Association and the district. Changes to the current contract now allow for a longer school day.
Curriculum officials with the MCCSC said the new schedule would allow for almost a month of additional teaching time over the course of each school year and about a year of extra teaching time over a student’s academic career.
Director of Elementary Education Cameron Raines said the proposed schedule changes are a result of conversations with teacher’s… many of whom complained about a lack of instructional time.
“I have been in the district now for two years and for two years elementary teachers have said ‘I don’t have enough time, we don’t have enough time to get everything done that’s essential,’” said Raines.
Most of the complaints heard from the audience were about the earlier start time. 7:40 in the morning for secondary students and 8:35 in the morning for elementary students.
Several people also voiced concerns that the later start date on Wednesdays would be difficult for working parents to negotiate.
Raines said the district plans to implement the new school day at the beginning of the fall semester.