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Late Wednesday start proposed for Riverton schools

May 9, 2012 - By Carolyn B. Tyler, Staff Writer

A later start to the school day is being proposed on Wednesdays for the Riverton public schools during the 2012-13 academic year to facilitate teacher in-service training through the Professional Learning Community philosophy.

Rather than the usual 8 a.m. start, K-12 classes would start at 8:45 a.m. on Wednesdays only, giving teachers the opportunity to meet and plan toward the common core of standards being adopted in the District 25 schools.

Speaking for the calendar committee, Jackson Elementary principal Owen Lampert told the school board Tuesday that the "late-start Wednesday" is being designed to best meet the needs of students, parents and teachers.

Buses would run on the regular schedule, and the individual building would be open to the students wanting, or needing, to arrive at the usual time. Riverton High School principal Joanne Flanagan said structured recreational opportunities would be provided for the students who arrive at the buildings at the regular time, suggesting it would be an excellent opportunity for the high school CAN, Key Club, Leadership and other students to mentor the younger students.

Students who chose to could delay the start of their day by 45 minutes.

Lampert said all the logistics to accommodate students and parents are still to be worked out but guaranteed "families will not have to change their schedules."

"Late start" rather than "early dismissal" on a weekly basis, as practiced in some school districts, is being considered to "avoid the care issue," Flanagan said.

The 36 weeks of Wednesday late starts would replace the three days off for in-service that is the current practice in the Riverton schools and would not diminish the teacher/pupil instructional time, Lampert said.

The proposal will be discussed with parents and teachers during the next two weeks and come up for action at the Riverton school board meeting May 22.

The proposed calendar for the 2012-13 school year, favored by a majority of the staff, has classes starting Aug. 28 and ending at noon May 31, 2013.

The Thanksgiving holiday would be Nov. 22 to Nov. 23, Christmas holiday Dec. 24 to Jan. 1, 2013, and spring break April 1, 2013 to April 5, 2013.