Full Day Gets Students in Swing of School, Officials Say
District is debating the merits of a full day on the first day of school.
For the first time in more than six years, the first day of school was a full day instead of a half day—and many parents and staff members are in full support of maintaining that for the future.
Superintendent of Schools Michael Schilder said at the Sept. 11 board of education meeting that he met with principals throughout the district to get feedback on the pros and cons of a full day on the first day of school.
“Many students wanted a half day, but at the high school, they were OK with the full day,” he said. “They said it gave them a chance to get in the swing of things.”
As for the primary schools, Schilder said, many teachers said they believed the full day was actually more positive for the kindergarten students, allowing them to really start to understand the every-day schedule.
“The day went smoothly because it allowed for a normal day of kindergarten,” he said, reading from comments he had gathered from the principals.
In addition, Schilder said, many staff members said the full day allowed for additional time to figure out any bus issues, which might be why there were so few complaints from parents this year.
“And it allowed the time for teachers to get to know their classes,” he said. “Plus the office staff found it more manageable.”
The only concerns from teachers, Schilder said, were that a full day right out of the gate was a little rough for the first graders.
“Some felt the full day was a harder transition from the summer,” he said.
In the intermediate schools, Schilder said, principals were told that staff found the day was more efficient because they were not rushed, as did those in the middle school.
The only problem in the middle school, Schilder said, was the fact of seventh grade orientation, which had to be rushed a little more in order to get students in for the first lunch around 10:30 a.m.
As for the high school, Schilder said, they preferred the full day.
“It allows the teachers to do introductory material, and hit the ground running on day two,” he said.
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