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USD 383 to discuss teacher plan time

By Bryan Richardson

The high school schedule and elementary planning time will be discussed by the USD 383 school board during its 5:30 p.m. meeting Wednesday at the Robinson Education Center.

The discussion, which is to begin at 6:30 p.m., will consider the benefits and challenges of implementing proposed ideas.

The school board has been discussing the two issues separately in recent months. Wednesday’s discussion will combine the conversations, which are related to one another.

The purpose of the elementary discussion is to provide more equity in the time that elementary and high school teachers get to prepare.

Since adding more planning time for elementary teachers would cost money, board president Dave Colburn said the hope is that savings could be found within the high school schedule to help fund it.

The plan deemed the best by the elementary schedule task force sets aside eight days for professional development and eight early release days plus 60 minutes per week for collaboration time. The total estimated cost is $450,000 to hire the minimum of 9.8 faculty members needed.

The next best plan has eight days for professional development time and eight early release days for collaboration. The least of the three plans has 6.5 days for professional development, and four early release days and three half-days for collaboration.

Those two plans would require a minimum of 2.8 additional faculty at a cost of approximately $128,800.

The MHS schedule task force has presented three options to the board: six plus zero hour schedule with a late start day, seven hour modified block schedule with two block days and the current seven hour schedule.

The only high school schedule option with savings is a six plus zero hour schedule.

The implementation of that schedule would reduce the staff by 11 to 18 teachers with savings of $506,000 to $828,000 based on a beginning teacher’s salary with benefits of $46,000.

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