New School Hours Benefit Students and Teachers
(BRADENTON, FL - July 24, 2007) Schools in the Manatee District will operate on a new schedule known as a “modified instructional week” when school starts Monday, August 20. To help parents and students understand how this new schedule will impact them, we've developed this news bulletin along with a list of Frequently Asked Questions. In order to move from a good school district to a great school district, it is necessary to implement changes along the way to allow us to grow. Thank you for your patience as we move forward!
NEW SCHOOL HOURS
As in the past, starting and ending times for elementary, middle and high schools will be staggered to accommodate district bus schedules. The starting time for schools will remain the same each day of the week under the new schedule and the end of the school day will be the same on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. The major difference is that the end of the school day will be modified on Wednesday.
Q: What is a modified instructional week?
A: A modified instructional week refers to a new schedule adopted by the Manatee County School Board that increases instruction time for students and adds a block of time each week for teachers to enhance training for professional development and to work on instructional planning. Under the modified instructional week, students go to school approximately 30 minutes longer than last year's schedule on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. On Wednesday, students will go to school approximately an hour and a half less so that teachers can use that time for training and planning. This new schedule is necessary to provide the best educational opportunities for our students.
Q: Will the new weekly schedule affect my child?
A: Yes, if your child attends a public elementary, middle or high school in Manatee County. Charter schools will have the option to continue their current schedule of start and dismissal times or follow the district schedule.
Q: When school gets out earlier on Wednesdays, what will I do with my child?
A: With the new schedule, elementary schools will provide a "Wednesdays Only" after-school option for parents at a cost of $8 per session. The $8 fee will cover the cost of after-school care from 1:15 p.m. to 6 p.m. Once the school year begins, middle school parents will be surveyed to gauge their interest in a similar “Wednesday Only” after-school option. In addition, each after-school care program that our schools work with will be notified so they can make adjustments to adapt to the new schedule.
Q: Will I have to pay the additional cost if my child is already attending an after-school program?
A: No. The $8 “Wednesday Only” after-school fee will not apply to students already being charged for an after-school care program.
Q: Will financial assistance be available to help pay for the cost of the “Wednesday Only” after-school option?
A: Yes. Scholarships to help students attend the “Wednesday Only” after-school option will be available on a need basis determined by the student's socio-economic status.
Q: How will my child's bus transportation be affected?
A: Bus routes will be altered to accommodate the new schedule and the adjusted bus routes will be posted on the school district's web site at www.manateeschools.net and included in the "Back to School Handbook" published in the Bradenton Herald prior to the start of school on August 20, 2007. If you have questions about your child's bus transportation, please contact your child's school or call the Transportation Routing Department at 941-708-8800 extension 1118, 1119, or 1116, 1120.
Q: How does the modified instructional week benefit students?
A: Under the new schedule, students will receive 30 minutes of additional instruction each week which will result in an additional 18 hours of instruction a year. Plus, the increased training and planning time given to teachers will strengthen and enhance the classroom experience for students and teachers alike.
Q: Why do teachers need additional planning time?
A: As state and federal accountability standards for schools continue to rise, teachers need more time for professional development and planning so they can improve instructional delivery, analyze student data to provide more individualized instruction, confer with peers for group and team planning and to learn and implement new instructional strategies.
Q: How do we know it will work in Manatee County?
A: During the last school year, three Manatee County Schools - Orange Ridge-Bullock, Samoset and Wakeland elementary schools - used the modified instructional week. Staff and parent feedback from those schools was very positive concerning the new schedule and student learning gains at those three schools outpaced learning gains at similar schools in the district.
Q: Do any other school districts in Florida use a modified instructional week?
A Yes. Orange County implemented the modified instructional week in its schools almost two decades ago and other districts such as Osceola County and Indian River County currently use a modified instructional week.
NEED MORE INFORMATION?
You can find out more about the modified instructional week and the new school hours by contacting your child's school, visiting our district's website at www.manateeschools.net or by calling the district's Parent Information Center at 708-4971.
For additional information, you can contact Director of Elementary Schools Tim Kolbe, Director of Middle Schools Angela Essig, or Director of High Schools Roy Larson, depending on the grade level of your child. You can reach the directors at the following numbers:
Tim Kolbe 708-8770, ext. 2223
Angela Essig 708-8770, ext. 2030
Roy Larson 708-8770, ext. 2226
For questions concerning charter schools or contracted sites, please contact:
|School District of Manatee County Florida · 215 Manatee Avenue West · Bradenton, Florida 34205 · (941) 708-8770|