On Mar. 21 the school board met to discuss and vote on proposed schedules that would take effect for the 2017-18 school year.
The board’s final decision was to adopt a new schedule where students would get out of class at 2:30 p.m. every day instead of the current schedule, which ends at 3 p.m. with an early-out Monday at 1 p.m. This change is only for the secondary schools. The elementary schools’ schedule will be decided at a later time.
The need for a change came after the change to Snow College’s concurrent enrollment classes. The college has set their classes to align with the majority of the schools in our region and across the state.
Currently, Snow has classes on Monday/Wednesday or Tuesday/Thursday, with no classes on Fridays. This proves to be a conflict for NS because of the alternating A-day, B-day schedule and shortened Monday schedule.
This change would allow students to have a set schedule where A-days would always be on Monday/Wednesday and B-days would always be on Tuesday/Thursday. Whereas now, students interested in taking concurrent enrollment classes through the ednet building have to block out all first, second, or third periods on both A and B days to accommodate those concurrent enrollment classes as well as the students involved in sports. The majority of sporting events are on a Tuesday or Thursday, so having a set schedule would allow students to put an easy class to miss on those days to eliminate the loss of valuable class time.
The main concerns from Superintendent Sam Ray and the members of the board were to find a solution that provides a schedule that would work for all the schools in the district without causing problems, as well as maintaining the Professional Learning Community (PLC) meetings for teachers. The PLCs are used to improve teaching and student learning. Or in other words, the board members are trying to balance between the proposed schedules as well as the teacher training time.
The proposed schedules were to keep the existing schedule as it is, change the whole district to getting out at 2:30 p.m., change the early out from Mondays to Fridays, or to have a split schedule between the elementary and secondary schools.
By taking into consideration the thoughts from teachers and parents , the idea of switching the early out schedule from Monday to Friday was quickly dismissed. The reasons included the amount of students (and teachers) checking out both physically and mentally on those days would increase and it didn’t accommodate the students involved in extracurricular activities’ schedules.
Teachers in the North Sanpete Association overwhelmingly supported the 2:30 schedule because they thought it would be the most effective plan for the secondary schools, especially at the high school, but the question still remained as to what to do with the elementary schedules. Should they remain the same as they are now or align with the high school’s schedule?
Concerns were given by parents in the community, along with board members, that it was a lot to ask of parents that would have kids in different schools having differing schedules.
Many board members agreed that the decision on whether to change the elementary schedules or not was difficult. They agreed that it was too soon to decide and have postponed the decision until a later time.