Kearney Public Schools changes length of school day
The Kearney Public School district has moved to make big changes on how a typical day of class runs and it may affect the working schedules of parents and guardians.
The district decided to lengthen school days for Kindergarten through 12th grade and take off a few days on the monthly calendar. This decision means for Kindergarten through 12th, classes will start 5 minutes early. It also means Kindergarten through 8th and 9th through 12th will get out 20 and 21 minutes later. There will also be one Wednesday off every month for grades K-8.
"Instead we will be providing professional development to our teachers one day a month– that is a significant cost savings to our system, rather than providing substitutes to provide them staff development the professional learning, we'll be able to do that on those days," said Superintendent Kent Edwards.
This decision was made to save the district money, after a $1.9 million budget cut. Superintendent Edwards believes this will create more hours of instruction for less days.
"There was a re–calculation of the funding formula in the last unicameral. We were dis-proportionally impacted by the tune of 1.2 million dollars and with other sources that were added to it, that was for 1.9 million dollars," said Edwards.
Superintendent Edwards says the challenge they met was continuing to offer services and programs to students– while working with their declining revenue.
"This will allow for more programs of study, more internships, more internships, more capstone projects. Students instead of taking eight courses at the high school per year will be taking 10 courses per year, so that really opens up a bevvy of opportunities for those students," said Edwards.
One parent who also works for the district, says she is excited for her high school son, who will now be able to take 10 courses a year instead of eight.
"I think anybody who's ever sat down and selected classes with their student realized that four blocks really made it hard to get everything in that you wanted your student to learn in four years of high school," said Lisa Reese Parish.
However, some parents feel this could cause more issues than solutions. In a Facebook post, one viewer calls the change bologna– saying studies on lengthening days show that extra class time ends up being used for study hall time. Another viewer addresses the change for parents, saying-
"It's fine for kids old enough to stay home, but for the young ones, this creates issues with child care."
When asked about child care services, Superintendent Edwards says they'll be working on ways to include the new time schedule.
"We needed to make sure that our board of education was in alignment with what we were proposing, since they've done that we will sit down again with the KCLC program and just determine what types of services how we'll have to alter the services that we're currently providing through that program but what we can do additionally to maybe assist with the new schedules as well," said Edwards.
The new schedules are listed below:
- Bright Futures Preschool - 8:30 a.m. -3:20 p.m.
- Bright Futures Toddlers - 8:20 a.m. -3:20 p.m.
- Park, Windy Hills, Buffalo Hills, Kenwood - 8:05 a.m. -3:25 p.m.
- Bryant, Central, Meadowlark, Northeast - 8:10 a.m. -3:30 p.m.
- Emerson, Glenwood - 8:15 a.m. -3:35 p.m.
- Horizon, Sunrise - 8:10 a.m. -3:35 p.m.
- Kearney High School - 8:00 a.m. -3:41 p.m.
These changes will not go into effect until the fall of 2018.