Talk about change is on 383 agenda

By Bryan Richardson

The USD 383 school board will begin to address various issues of the district’s future at its meeting Wednesday at Robinson Education Center.

Part of the meeting will be dedicated to setting the schedule for board discussions on senior early release, high school day start time, open/closed lunch hour at Manhattan High, and the high school and elementary school schedule.

The discussions are slated to begin at the Sept. 19 board meeting and continue through January 2013.

The push for these discussions began at the board’s winter retreat in February. Here’s a synopsis.

* Currently, MHS seniors have the option of not taking first and second periods, sixth and seventh periods, or first and seventh periods during the second semester if they’re on track for graduation and have parent approval. During the winter retreat, board members suggested adding requirements including attending on-campus college classes or working.

•  The MHS school day currently lasts from 7:40 a.m. to 2:57 p.m. One suggestion was for the elementary schools to switch times with MHS for two years as a trial. The elementary school day starts at 8:35 a.m.

• MHS lunch is currently open for students to leave campus. The consideration would be whether to keep campus closed.

• MHS currently has seven periods every school day. The board looked at various schedule structures from comparable high schools at the winter retreat. The high school and elementary school schedule discussion would also consider whether to provide professional learning time at all the schools. Only MHS has that in its schedule currently.

If any of these changes are adopted, they could go into effect starting next school year.

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